The Mezunian

Die Positivität ist das Opium des Volkes, aber der Spott ist das Opium der Verrückten

The Bad Webcomics Wiki Finally Found a Webcomic They Love: A Nazi Comic

The Bad Webcomics Wiki is an ancient website I wrote some shitty sprite comic reviews for mo’ than a decade ago, when I was a teenager, before I realized there were better things to spend my time dunking on than middle schoolers trying to babystep their way into learning how to create comics by screwing round in MS Paint ( I now spend my time satirizing people e’en less talented: writers for The Atlantic ). Back then ’twas mostly run by enlightened centrists who thought Jon Stewart was hilarious ( enlightened centrism was ’nother juvenile delusion I grew out o’ ). I haven’t been there for mo’ than a decade, ’cause I grew up ( I’m now the mental equivalent o’ a teenager rather than a 10-year-ol’ ), but apparently sometime in that time the barren wasteland had been taken o’er by Nazis. What’s most bizarre, is they still have the stuff written by the centrists mixed in with the edgelord fascists, like this article written by pro-mole, who seems very strongly to not be a fascist.

Anyway, I’m not interested in the rest o’ Bad Webcomics Wiki, so much as 1 review they wrote for some comic I’d ne’er heard o’ before called Stonetoss, which I learned ’bout from that classic magnum opus o’ the 21st century, this page o’ TV Tropes nerds whining ’bout stuff they didn’t like on the internet. As cringe — as the zoomzooms say — as that TV Tropes page is, I swear to you that the Bad Webcomics Wiki review is much cringier ( I don’t know if the zoomzooms use that word ). This review is the only 1 I know that praises a webcomic — going starkly gainst brand for a website with “Bad Webcomics” @ the beginning o’ its name. During the early years, their saner community ( emphasis on the use o’ comparative adjective, not absolute ) acknowledged certain webcomics like Gunnerkrigg Court or The Perry Bible Fellowship as good, but reflected this view by not making reviews for them @ all, only comparing comics they viewed as bad to them. So this webcomic, despite its generic name, must be amazing to break that tradition. Surely an institute as well-respected as the Bad Webcomics Wiki wouldn’t sully their illustrious reputation by breaking this custom for some lame 4chan meme comic.

Genre: Edgy political and societal commentary (also memes)

This is not a genre.

A lot of people do not like his politics, but it seems to be an even 50/50 split

Which is why this is a bad webcomic, ’cause s’posedly only 50% o’ people support racism, according to the tiny bubble o’ shut-in Kiwi-Farm nerds who are the only people with which this reviewer interacts. That’s some hard overton-window-pushing this reviewer’s trying. Too bad it’ll only be effective for said tiny minority o’ shut-ins that make up this ancient website, who probably don’t care whether or not their political views are popular, anyway, ¿so what’s the point? ¿Wouldn’t it be mo’ effective to sell this as “edgy” if you admitted that this comic’s politics are fringe?

The reviewer is well aware of the fact that many people do not like this comic.

In the past, this website eviscerated someone e’en mo’ if they were aware that their comic sucked, but now apparently it gets you brownie points — if you’re racist, a’least.

To this end, the debate had been ongoing for years on whether this comic deserves a review or not. Basically, consensus seemed to be that this comic – despite being undoubtably offensive to people who didn’t agree with the comic’s politics – then it’s not that bad, even if it’s not all the jokes that Stonetoss cranks out that seem equally… kosher.

Here’s 1 o’ the million times an idiot online mistook “consensus”, e’eryone, for “majority”. So, this comic is not bad, but it’s included in the “Bad Webcomics Wiki”.

This was actually a prime point of contention on the forum, because the consensus seemed to be that we know he’s an edgy boy, we know he fucking LOVES to push buttons, and we know that not all his jokes are funny or in good taste.

It’s almost as if the early 2000s ne’er ended. ¿Who still thinks racism is “edgy” when so many elected officials peddle the same memes? It’s not edgy, it’s boring. It’s a desperate ploy for attention by someone who lacks the genuine skills necessary to garner attention otherwise. It’s a sad attempt to create a nonfalsifiable narrative that anyone who doesn’t like this comic is woke, or whate’er Orwellian buzzword they’re using this week, which is much easier than actually putting effort into your work so that few people want to shit on your comic. So, ¿what is the purpose for “pushing buttons”? Anyone who knows how actually good satire works knows that good provocation has a purpose for making people uncomfortable, since making people uncomfortable is, all else equal, a negative, & it’s self-evidently irrational to intentionally make the world worse — or a’least it’s not wise for society to praise art that makes society worse. But this review ne’er goes into detail on how this “button-pushing” has any positive effect on the world, since it’s much harder to argue that “black people existing” as an “absurd problem” to be “solved” makes the world a better place, as opposed to, say, Jonathan Swift mocking racist Britons for treating Irish people as just a means for their own consumption by taking it to its logical conclusion: there’s a goal beyond just portraying edgy content for the sake o’ edge — he’s pushing Britons’ buttons in the hopes o’ making them rethink their behavior, not just so he can say, “LOL, yur triggered”.

In fact, as we will see, that is very much not what this comic is interested in…

This comic doesn’t have a serial narrative like The Probability Broach, and it doesn’t advocate for pie-in-the-sky utopian politics either.

Those are weirdly specific criteria. I’ll take it “pie-in-the-sky utopian politics” is s’posed to be a bad thing, e’en tho there are plenty o’ well-regarded works o’ art, including the very work that gave us the word “utopia”, that focus on utopias, like, say, Ursula Le Guin’s The Dispossessed. Nor does this reviewer define what is or is not “utopian”. If one is sufficiently nihilist, it could be any delusion that the world could be improved in the slightest way.

It’s not pushing religion over science, and while it most certainly mocks a lot of political characters then it does so better than most and while you’re never in doubt when an SJW stereotype is on display, then they’re not equally as whiny as often shown in comics.

I hope they put this garbled mess on the back o’ this comic’s inevitable print copy, as it’s inspiring me to read it right now. This reviewer did a great job o’ showing how it does a better job o’ mocking political characters than “most”, which is just 1 other linked comic review. It’s very impressive that this comic still has lazy stereotypes, but they’re less whiny than most other lazy shit, so this comic is just the slightest ’bove lazy shit, which, when you have barrel-bottom standards, is great. Man, this review really wants me to check this comic out now. Actually, I don’t know what the purpose o’ this review is s’posed to be. Maybe the idea that reviews are s’posed to have a purpose is also “utopian”. It, like this comic, certainly isn’t funny, other than as a target for mockery — & that’s questionable, since this article I’m writing is already starting way slower & is unfunny compared to that cheese wrapper article or that recent article ’bout Ondaatje’s genius dog.

Stonetoss also doesn’t advocate race-war

I take it back: this belongs on the back blurb. “It’s not racist if it doesn’t call for race-war”. ’Gain, desperate-ass overton-window-pushing.

indeed, the closest political comic would probably be Quantum Vibe, though the utopian politics pushed in that does put it a bit off the mark

¿What is with these random-ass comparisons? Looking it up, the only thing Quantum Vibe has in common with this comic is very vaguely being right wing. You might as well compare it to Also Spoke Zarathustra while you’re @ it ( ’cept this comic would look pitiful compared to that actual work o’ art ).

Stonetoss has yet to push a comic that has the direct message of “If everyone converts to my views, the world would be perfect” which is what pretty much ALL other political commentary comics seems to do these days.

This is a very accurate description o’ political art & in no way the lazy exaggeration by someone frightened o’ having their worldview challenged. ¿Remember when Doonesbury spent e’ery comic having a bearded man in an eyepatch shout, “¡O’erthrow the bourgeoisie today & free Switch games tomorrow! Anyone who disagrees wants a world o’ just Action 52s”, on e’ery panel? I mean, that would probably be better — the most brilliant comic in the world, actually. No, much better is just empty nihilism that just mocks for the sake o’ mocking without any meaning ’hind it to make it worth caring ’bout, which is much better than actually wanting to have a positive effect on the world if you take pride in being useless.

See, when it comes to political messaging in the Stonetoss comics, then there often aren’t much.

¡This sounds like a good comic to me!

The comic’s style is more of a “hey look at this stupid thing being done” style, which can then be open to interpretation.

Yes, just saying “this is stupid” leads to much greater philosophical reevaluations than imagining a different political scape. That’s why my dumb blog received a Pulitzer & sci-fi has ne’er been popular e’er.

A few are pretty clear, but many are simply meant to make you think a bit –

Let’s see this comic that’s “meant to make you think a bit”:

Ah, yes, the most obvious joke you can make ’bout popular meme for people who aren’t interested in studying actually intellectual endeavors, NFTs, made by an idiot peddling NFTs in their blog below. & by “joke”, I mean lame propaganda point peddlers make. Yes, NFTs are just like the Mona Lisa — ’cept their art looks like shit, are made by talentless hacks, aren’t e’en the art themselves but just a made-up currency that represents them, & are artificially scarce due to stupidity, rather than genuine technological limitations, & are bad for the environment. Yes, this makes you think a lot if you’re ignorant o’ basic economics & have ne’er heard o’ “artificial scarcity”, “conspicuous spending”, or “pyramid schemes” & are ignorant o’ the computer science ’hind NFTs & how they differ from handcrafted paintings… in e’ery way imaginable. If this creator were actually socially competent they would’ve compared it to something mo’ equivalent, like royalty titles or having a star named after you.

of course, to some that is a high crime on its own if they don’t like you weighing both sides of a debate equally

¿What both sides? This comic just shows 1 side: pro-NFT. Not only is it just 1 side & a dumb side, it’s 1 where the artist clearly has a conflict o’ interest since they’re selling NFTs. Yes, political comics are much better if the artist is materially biased, rather than just ideologically biased.

As for the Stonetoss comics themselves, then the format hasn’t changed since its start – it’s usually a simple strip or page, with a clear setup and punchline.

“This comic strip is, indeed, a comic strip”.

On quite a lot of forums, and various subreddits, especially ones that discuss politics, his comics even tend to harvest the occasional bit of praise – because you don’t have to be a political extremist to enjoy this comic.

No, just a mentally-mediocre conservative. ¡Ha, ha, ha! ¡Leninists read Das Kapital & libertarians read The Road to Serfdom! ¿What’s tha deal with dat? ( This is unfair slander gainst laissy libertarians that they read a much mo’ simpleminded work: a’least give them the credit o’ reading Human Action ). This idiot can’t e’en stereotype right: ¿all those young lefties watching TV? Nobody below the age o’ 30 watches TV sets, & they certainly don’t get their news or politics from TV, ’less they’re zoomers unlucky ’nough to live in such a flyo’er o’ flyo’er states that they don’t have internet. C’mon, all you had to do was replace TV with Twitter “X” & it a’least would’ve been kinda believable if you’ve ne’er met actual zoomers, like the bitter ol’ person who writes this comic.

Plus, look @ the hypocrisy o’ this criticism, coming from a political webcomic — presumably where the people reading this comic are getting their politics. This comic sure as shit doesn’t reference accredited academic theories or statistics ( neither does The Road to Serfdom, but that’s a different story… ). This comic is straight-up insulting its own audience as left-libertarians & its audience lacks the bare minimum self-awareness to notice — this reviewer in their novel jerking off to this comic certainly doesn’t bring it up.

This reviewer failed so hard to find examples o’ “smart” people who like this comic that they had to use the same example for 2 different links with the desperate hope that their lazy readers wouldn’t bother to check them both — & worse, the people who vouch for them are idiots who care ’bout the pseudoscientific “political compass” — clearly a subreddit full o’ modern-day James Baldwins here. I’m so much mo’ interested in making sure my beliefs are properly categorized on a grid like RPG stats or whether they’re “woke” or “based” than examining how political beliefs & actions affect different peoples’ material lives in concrete ways, since I, too, am a socially-stunted STEM-lord coddled middle-class white male shut-in who has ne’er actually had to deal with the real world.

But does that mean that everything is honky dory and there’s nothing to debate here?

No, there’s nothing to debate, ’cause this comic has no depth. If you have the brain o’ a child, you giggle @ the mean ol’ SJWs trying to ground you from Twitter “X” as if you just snuck a cookie from the cookie jar before dinner, & if you have a brain, you cringe the minute you look @ this comic’s generic tacky artwork.

( Laughs ). I just noticed “honky dory”. “It’s a reference to how great white people are, ¿right?”.

No of course not. Stonetoss LOVES to court controversy and vigorously fucks with all kinds of sacred cows.

See, that TV Troper was wrong: The Bad Webcomics Wiki did find a furry comic they like.

¿Have I mentioned how eDGy this comic is? ¡It’s so edgy! ¡Look @ how it attacks these things that millions o’ works attack that I also hate so I feel no discomfort seeing it attacked, just like e’ery other comic!

See, I find it funnier that this reviewer is mo’ triggered by comics that actually wish for a better world than lame racist jokes that were ol’ mo’ than a century ago.

This is where most of his critique also comes from, but again it all primarily falls back on whether or not you agree with the political messages being put forth

Yes, that’s how you rate comics if you’re a moron without any critical thought & just chose your beliefs based on which “side” has the dankest memeface. People with any semblance o’ an education can analyze a work by how effective its communication o’ its ideas are, how innovative its jokes are ( none in this comic ), or how accurate its claims are, since, despite what this reviewer, whose only means of obtaining info is lurking forums full o’ 14-year-ol’s, there is this scientific method for determining what is unquestionably true & made-up lies.

The comics that get the most critique are likely the ones where he pokes fun at jews… thing is, we’re not talking swastika-waving bullshit here.

If you criticize Jews as an entire group as if they are a borg & not as distinct individuals who happen to be Jews, then, no, that is “swastika-waving bullshit” — it’s just an e’en worse kind that’s too chickenshit to admit it.

His very first one is about how quite a lot of jews are very rich, and the description of said comic, he links to a Jewish professor who talks about the social pressure in Jewish communities for getting a good education and focusing on upward social mobility, pointing out that 48% of American billionaires are Jewish. This starts a long line of comics where Stonetoss simply spouts what is often called “hate-facts”. You know, things that are factual, but can be interpreted as hateful depending on your political tastes, even if entirely true

“It’s true if a badly drawn comic or 90s-era websites say it’s true. No, I’ve ne’er read a single academic book. I trust randos online o’er those evil SJW intellectuals”. The 1st comic makes a joke that white privilege can’t exist ’cause many billionaires are jews ( which, e’en if ’twere 48%, is still a minority ), a “fact” that only works if you believe no Jews are white, which is only a “fact” if you’re a Nazi with inaccurate racial views, like that dumbass honkey Hitler who thought crackers were Aryans. The other 2 comics don’t link to any facts @ all: the 1st ’bout some imaginary trans battalion is incomprehensible to me ’cause I don’t share this comic artist’s arbitrary bigotry. ¿I guess ’cause 40% o’ trans people have attempted suicide ( I found this stat myself; this comic doesn’t link to it & could be talking ’bout something else, ’cause it’s shittily written ), ’cause suicidal people are “weak”, that means trans people are “weak”? I guess ’cause white men are the most likely to commit suicide, that means white men are the worst people to have as soldiers & the weakest people in the world. The 3rd comic has the “irony”, where someone with wacky pink ponytail, which is the universal sign for gay femboy wokester, tells somebody to educate themselves — ¡e’en tho they already are by reading FBI statistics! Reading biased statistics by an authoritarian force is the best way to educate yourself: that’s why I only trust publications by the Chinese Communist Party to get all my information. Nothing’s edgier than shilling for the most powerful government in the world. This comic writer’s obsession with “facts” — statistics detached from context — only further solidifies that this comic is written by a STEM-lord shut-in who thinks cobbling together whate’er jumble o’ isolated facts back up their bizarre conclusions is an oracle o’ truth, not what most scientists would call, “cherry-picking”.

…and its comics like that which Stonetoss fucking loves to crank out – because they make you think.

Imagine how embarrassing it must be to admit out loud that you’re impressed by the most cliché, simplistic agitprop.

Worse yet, he’ll try to make you think about uncomfortable topics like circumcision

Nobody cares ’bout this topic but weirdo antisemites trying to score random points.

like the amazingly high suicide rate of trans people

Leftists are perfectly comfortable acknowledging that bigoted tyrants incite suicide in trans people & that the best way to bring down this stat is to be tolerant o’ trans people, who provide value to society, & be intolerant o’ bigots, who only sow conflict & are no value to society @ all.

or mocking how pride parades in many places have become fetish displays

“Fetish” is literally just “non-normal sex”. A sad, sheltered, boring person being triggered by anything out o’ their closeted Mormon community is mo’ a problem on their end than the problem on gay people engaging in cool experimental kinds o’ sex. This artist’s emasculation in the face o’ gay people who can actually get sex is far from the W they think it is.

& looking @ the comic, that’s not what it’s ’bout. It puts words no gay person has e’er said, a gay person s’posedly rebuking a white person for wearing a shirt that says “It’s Okay to Be White”. ’Gain, this comic artist is a socially-stunted STEM-lord who doesn’t understand context ( or pretends to be this dumb to trick actually dumb people ), which he mistakes for some occult wisdom that the sheeple can’t handle, so can’t comprehend that most people who aren’t aliens don’t interpret “It’s Okay to Be White” @ face value, ’cause its face value meaning is stupidly redundant, but as a dogwhistle for “White People Deserve to Be Treated Better than Others”, that white people have been twisting rights for others as slavery for them e’er since southern slaveholders defined freeing black slaves as creating “white slavery”. Anyone who has e’er read a history book knows this.

or perfectly innocents topics like immigration

’Gain, if you have a problem with France having badass Arabian Nights temples with crescent moons on them, that says mo’ ’bout your bad taste than anything ’bout France. “Lol, ¡variety & mixing cultures to create new things!”. Shocking that such bland art would be made by someone who hates anything new or different. If this comic is effective @ anything, it’s providing a meta dystopian worldview o’ how sterile & brainless art would become if the boorish fascists were allowed to take o’er & suppress actually creative people.

or mass media manipulation.

Middle-aged man screaming ’bout 1984 for the millionth time & Christian bakeries selling gay cakes are the epitome o’ “media manipulation”. Man, this is so smart. ¿Who needs gay shit like Manufacturing Consent when you have based shit like this? If that gay jew Noam Chomsky talked ’bout important topics like gay cakes ’stead o’ commie shit like studies regarding the effects market economics, nationalistic culture, & inherited assumptions have on media tendencies he would be mo’ based & less o’ a woke soy boy.

Of course, some of his comics are so amazingly spot on that its quite eerie.

“¡It’s eerie how these comics match my preconceived notions so well! ¡Get out o’ my head, Randal!”.

This one about male feminists who turn out to be abusive predators have been prophetic in so many ways, considering the number of cases, stories and articles that have come up over the years on that topic.

It’s “prophetic” when you talk ’bout something that’s been well known for years.

It’s almost as if a lot of creeps use feminism to cover their abuse, or to get close to women to abuse them.

It’s hilarious that the only serious sources this article or these comics cite are for liberal opinions that they misinterpret as rightwing ideas. “Duh, if a bunch o’ dudes do skeevy things with feminism, that means feminism is bad, ¿right?”.

This wasn’t the first time his comics turned out to predict the future either, such as his take on the Jussie Smollett hate-crime hoax.

This “fact” was proven by police officers, noted objective sources, & a jury o’ almost-all white people, calling him a liar. You know this is an objective, unbiased comic just telling it like it is when it just assumes that the black guy is lying & the white people aren’t, ’cause, I mean, you know how those black folks be like. Mo’ importantly, you can’t predict something while commenting on it afterward @ the same time. Those o’ us known as “literate” understand that to “predict” something is to discuss something before it happens, not afterward.

All this comic is doing is cherry-picking 1 black guy out o’ hundreds o’ millions possibly pulling off a hoax, in contrast to the mountains o’ historical documentation o’ centuries o’ mass murder o’ black people, recent ’nough that many o’ the perpetrators are still living having not been taken to justice for their acts o’ terrorism, as well as the many recent cases o’ black people being murdered by police ( but those black people were probably on weed, so they deserved it, unlike all the crackers on opioids, who are still upstanding citizens ). But clearly those are insignificant, whereas 1 actor out o’ hundreds o’ millions maybe lying is the worst hate crime gainst white people anyone has e’er perpetrated. ¿Why haven’t we given white people their reparations yet? The great irony o’ these white “supremacist” whinefests is that they do the opposite, insulting white people far harder than leftists do by portraying them as the biggest crybabies e’er. Imagine comparing the average black person complaining ’bout threats o’ violence vs. some fragile white person with a tear whining, <¡That’s nothing compared to the trauma I’ve suffered! ¡Some rando on Twitter “X” said I said something racist gainst them when I didn’t! ¡I am the Emmett Till o’ white people!>.

Or hell, back in 2020 he posted a comic making fun of SJW coffee shops, and just compare that to this video about anti-capitalist coffee shop in Toronto.

Oh, shit, nobody’s e’er made a joke ’bout leftists being coffee-drinking intellectuals before. ¿Get it? They like fancy stuff, but that’s hypocritical, ’cause fancy stuff is bourgeois — that’s what it means, it means “fancy stuff”. “I totally know what socialism is — it’s when the government controls stuff, so these anarchists running a worker-owned business are hypocrites, ’cause no socialist e’er believes in worker-owned businesses, they only love government. My rightwing buddies tell me that’s what it is. No, I have ne’er heard o’ market socialism & can’t tell the difference ’tween market economics & capitalism, & no, I have ne’er read an economics book in my life”.

I always wonder what it’d look like if you were to twist the bizarre extremist purity-contest gotchas that lazy critics o’ socialists — not socialism the economic philosophy, mind you, ( which, like any economic philosophy currently in existence, has room for criticism by people who are actually literate in the subject ), but the people who believe in it, since logic 101 tells you that philosophies live or die not by their own merits, but by how a few cherrypicked people who say they believe in it behave — jump on them toward people who support capitalism in some way — which is probably most people. Imagine wagging one’s finger @ anyone who believes in capitalism in any way who happens to call the fire department when someone catches on fire & being all like, “O, ¿but I thought you loved the free market so much? ¿Why are you mooching off the evil socialist government?”. Nobody does this ’cause it’s widely agreed that people who refuse to touch anything that’s slightly associated with something they’re gainst are neurotics. So, fuck you, I’m gonna keep drinking my Coke while smashing dat capitalism ass & when sexy communism comes on the bourgeoisie’s face & we collectivize Coca-Cola, e’ery worker gets a Coke ( but just 1 — that shit doesn’t just grow off trees & you shouldn’t drink that much Coke, it’s not good for you ). That’s my hashtag slogan: “Peace, land, Coke”.

But I bet he truly triggered so many people with his valiant attacks gainst communism, noted sacred cow in the US. Next he might say something dangerously edgy, ¡like that Stalin wasn’t that cool!

Another topic he absolutely loves to poke fun at is good old political hypocrisy

The linked example isn’t e’en hypocrisy: internet service providers are physical utilities tied up in scarce land grants & require much mo’ capital & are necessary for accessing the internet @ all; social media are basic websites that anyone can make — which is why rightwingers have already made their own bootleg Twitters — & have trillions of other websites as competition if one’s not a lazy, ignorant pleb. This is a common tactic o’ rightwingers with no subtle thought: compare 1 thing to something else completely different in detail, but looks superficially similar. This comic creator is, ’course, too stupid to know the difference ’tween internet utilities, which are concrete, & websites, which are just #s, ’cause they live in a shut-in bubble where e’erything is just abstract ideas. If anything, the net neutrality person should be calling for nationalizing the internet, since it’s an inherently scarce natural utility, not something anyone can just make for themselves. & if this comic were accurate, the net neutrality person would ask the other guy to prove that social media is “censoring” only conservatives or e’en bring up plenty o’ racist idiots screaming racial slurs on social media & the other guy would just raise an eyebrow & go, “C’mon, we all know”, & just end it @ there, ’cause rightwingers assume e’eryone else unconditionally accepts their arbitrary assumptions without evidence.

Sure, its low-hanging fruit, but Stonetoss knows how to make a simple comic strip push an easy-to-understand message that doesn’t necessarily come off as preachy

They’re easy to understand ’cause they’re just simplistic superstitions, like e’erything else by generic conservatives, & it’s not preachy ’cause their conservativism is just empty nihilism.

Mind you, this isn’t to say that Stonetoss wont also mock conservative and right-leaning bullshit

His example o’ “right-leaning bullshit” is white conservatives being somewhat positive toward a black person. “Look, he’s fair & balanced: he attacks both the left & conservatives from the fascist standpoint”.

He was also an early supporter of bitcoin

That’s all we need to know ’bout this comic artist. Just yell, “This comic was written by a shut-in incel who thinks 4chan is real life” repeatedly & you’d get the same idea across.

This is probably less than half this jizzfest for a comic on the Bad Webcomics Wiki. Despite this section being called “Story & Plot & Writing”, nowhere does this reviewer actually discuss writing techniques ’cause they’re too uneducated to know what a writing technique is. They just say “the comic artist makes fun o’ these people, & makes fun o’ these people… ¿Isn’t he so edgy?”. No, he’s fucking boring. It’s ridiculous that a comic as full o’ weird shit as Dominic Deegan has less written ’bout its entire story & writing than this dumb political comic.

The art of Stonetoss is simple, even crude, but over the years he’s built up a solid and easy to read visual language in his comics.

No, fuck off. This art sucks & you have shit taste. ¿What kind o’ fucking losers has Bad Webcomics Wiki become that they’re simping so hard for a fucking Nazi comic?

Despite how similar the faces of his characters often look, then you know that the one with the purple twirly bit of hair is usually some kind of social justice warrior, and so on.

This is ’nother thing Bad Webcomics Wiki would’ve eviscerated before ’twas infested with Nazi teenagers.

It can take reading a few comics to get the full load of references

We get it: you’re uneducated, have not read any real works o’ literature, & are impressed @ the most basic-ass shit.

Another point that Stonetoss should be seriously commended for, is that in his comic he has more or less entirely avoided the sadly common trope in political comics of drawing his political opponents/strawmen in a visually distinctively negative manner.

I’m sorry, let’s go back a few paragraphs:

then you know that the one with the purple twirly bit of hair is usually some kind of social justice warrior

Fascists are such bad liars. I feel bad for any losers who falls for this.

He’s yet to be doxxed, though not for the lack of trying of his hatedom

This doesn’t make any sense: if people wanted to try doxxing him, they would. It’s stupidly easy. Nobody wants to doxx this idiot ’cause there’s a billion o’ them & nobody knows who this idiot is.


Literally written by a 14-year-ol’.

Basically he’s worse than Hitler.

This is true: Hitler’s existence was actually notable.

A total ultra-Nazi who must be hounded off the internet, at least if you go by his hatedoms on Reddit and whatnot.

Stonetoss’s haters are legion – make no doubt about it.

Shut the fuck up. Nobody cares ’bout you, loser. Get o’er yourself.

This review was obviously written by the person who made the comic itself — ’nother thing that would be grounds for eviscerating this idiot & wiping this shitty review off the internet in the past. I ne’er thought something like the Bad Webcomics Wiki, a website whose logo parodies Goatse, could “fall off”, but if the internet proves anything, it’s that there’s no nadir.

As oft, there is a much better example o’ what I’m doing here, so I wasted your time ’gain.

Posted in Politics, Reviewing Reviews, Uncategorized

The Worst “Professional” Review

Since we’ve been reviewing reviews here recently, I remembered this 1 review I read that was shocking not only in how bad ’twas, but by the fact that the person who wrote it was a professional reviewer who was paid by a real, physical magazine to write it & who is renowned ’nough to have a Wikipedia article, & who is apparently known as the “dean of American rock critics”, which says something dire ’bout American rock criticism thruout the last half century if that’s true. No wonder this music genre’s dead. Luckily, there’s no chance this geriatric cracker will get anywhere near to deanship to hip hop criticism.

Anyway, let’s get to the review. Now, ’cause I like to focus on the arguments o’ the reviews & not having the “right” or “wrong” conclusions, I’m going to leave out the title o’ the work he’s reviewing, since it’s irrelevant. He could be reviewing the worst Puddle of Mudd album & this review would still be terrible.

Anyway, here it is, in all its majesty:

The plus is because Peter Townshend likes it. This can also be said of The Crazy World of Arthur Brown. Beware the forthcoming hype–this is ersatz shit. D+

Like I said in my previous review o’ reviews, it’s impossible to offer any substantial analysis with only ’bout 50 words, so relying on only half as many is an e’en bigger challenge. & yet e’en here Christgau wastes his words. Nearly half the words are making an irrelevant comparison to some other album. Mo’ are wasted on complaining ’bout other people liking the album, which would be fine, if this reviewer bothered to say why they didn’t like it or e’en to make a statement ’bout why others would like it. There are reasons one might like terrible art — oft shallow reasons, which may be worth bringing up for complaint, to try debunking them, to make people understand why popularity need not always mean greatness. He’s not e’en being funny in his snideness: “beware the forthcoming hype” sounds like bathos in its o’erwrought drama. ¿Why should I give a shit if a bunch o’ idiots like shitty music?

But the worst failure o’ this review is the 1st sentence, where the most substantial point he makes is that ’nother musician likes the work. This is a shocking L, as the zoomzooms say, for a critic to take — to hold up somebody else as an authority. You’re s’posed to be the authority: you’re s’posed to be the one who has to articulate why you think the album sucks. It’s a lame-ass “dean of American rock critics” who has to turn tail & quiver under the protective cover o’ some paternal rockstar authority — specially when it’s the leader o’ 1 o’ the most boomeresque of ol’ rock bands, The Who. The fact that this band was e’er considered interesting in the 60s is proof that the hippie generation were always ol’ grampas, e’en when they were in their 20s & smoking pot.

But the crux o’ this review, if we trim the empty fat, is the final 2 words: “ersatz shit”. It’s an unfunny AVGN review. But e’en here he fucks it up: “ersatz shit” is ersatz English, so awkward that I’m not sure what he e’en means by it. I’m guessing he’s calling it both fake & shit; but the problem is that in normal English people use “ersatz” before a word, “ersatz” applies to that next word, not to what is being described by both. So it sounds like he’s calling it “fake shit” — feces that fails to truly be feces. Maybe that’s what he’s truly trying to say. To be honest, I don’t know how deep his review scores go: maybe D+ is a lukewarm score, maybe he’s saying that this album isn’t e’en audaciously shitty ’nough to be shit, but is just halfhearted shit. Much as some say the glass is half full & others say the glass is half empty, while most critics say a 5/10 is half good, Christgau says it’s half shit. If this is truly what he meant to express, that would be ’head o’ its time. But I have an inkling that Christgau just wanted to call this album both fake & shitty, but wanted to look smarter by digging thru his thesaurus for a fancier synonym for “fake”.

By the way, this review is for King Crimson’s In the Court of the Crimson King. Yeah, I wouldn’t have guessed it, either. You can find it on Christgau’s website, lovingly created by his 10-year-ol’ nephew in the late 90s in FrontPage.

You know, e’en if one thinks In the Court of the Crimson King is shit, you’d think one would think it relevant to bring up its political themes & its discussion o’ mental illness, e’en if one thinks they’re trite themes & one thinks King Crimson’s takes are shallow or inane, or, you know, bring up the style or genre this music is in & how it compares or represents said style or if said style is bad in & o’ itself. My best guess is that this album is “ersatz” in that it actually sounds like the composers had to use artifice when composing these songs, whereas The Who sounded like they played whate’er notes came into their head @ the time & Townshend just squealed like a sea mammal in pain, which is mo’ real. Real, ordinary people aren’t creative or weird or have talents that stand out, but just stand there picking their noses. The Who was a band for the common man who picks his nose; King Crimson is for… well, 21st century schizoids, obviously.

Fuck, he couldn’t just wrote as his review, “Schizoids may like the album, but sane people won’t. D+”, & it would’ve been infinitely better. Christgau better flee to Argentina, ’cause a coup’s going on, & we’re getting a new dean o’ American rock critics, motherfucker. As the song goes:

The wall on which the dean o’ rock critics wrote

is cracking @ the seams…

Posted in Reviewing Reviews

Let’s Make Fun o’ Reviews for a Book I Ne’er Read

As someone who has written a review or 2, I’m fascinated by the art o’ reviewing in & o’ itself: not just the conclusions they set out, but also, specially, the arguments they set forth to try & back up those conclusions & how persuasive they seem to me. This is why I’ve written a few attacks gainst reviews in which I agree with the conclusion, such as an inane praiseworthy review for my favorite video game, Wario Land 3. This comes from my schooling, which ( probably to avoid getting sued for potentially violating freedom-o’-speech rights ) was openminded ’bout just ’bout any kind o’ conclusions, no matter how revolting, so long as one made a sophisticated attempt @ backing one’s arguments.

Thus for today I will go all the way & look @ reviews for a book I’ve ne’er read, some 2021 books called “Sorrow & Bliss: A Novel”. Yes, it really has “A Novel” as the official subtitle, & no, I have no idea why.

The only reason I e’en checked out this book was ’cause I found it on some list I found on Google that some rando named Steve Donaghue made o’ what he considered to be the worst fiction books o’ 2021:

In case so many of the rest of the books on this list haven’t given readers enough anti-science egomania, this idiotic, carpingly condescending story of a woman with a “mental illness” that mainly seems to turn her into a too-online Twitter-hole ought to make up the difference.

This is an all-too-common example o’ 1 o’ my least favorite types o’ terrible reviews: 1 that focuses so much on conclusive opinions & not ’nough on textual evidence or examples &, worse, is so vague in its criticisms that e’en after reading the review I have no idea what kind o’ book this e’en is. Granted, less than 50 words is way too short for an adequate review for anything worth reviewing, since it leaves no room for detail. I think, ironically, the person who wrote this review is “too-online”, as he assumes I’m familiar with whate’er Twitter bullshit he’s vaguely alluding to. Unfortunately, beyond copypasting the poems I post on this blog into Twitter with a grunt & then leaving ( which I’ve stopped bothering to do now that I’m convinced Musk will be the death o’ it ), I don’t do hardly anything on Twitter ( & I suspect hardly anyone will within the next 5 years thanks to Musk ), so I have no idea how this “Twitter-hole” ( ¿why is there a hyphen there? “Hole” is a separate word, not a suffix ), nor what “anti-science egomania” this book has or why this reviewer puts scare quotes round “mental illness”. ¿Does this reviewer who tries to imply that he’s pro-science deny the existence o’ mental illnesses — which is to ask, is this reviewer a psychology-denying crank, which is certainly not what I or any civilized human being would consider “pro-science”?

Ultimately, this review is just a bunch o’ cursing disguised as intellectualism by the use o’ vaguely-alluded implications. Being “anti-science”, an egomaniac, carping, condescending, & “too-online”, do, indeed, sound bad, but one can’t be sure if they truly are bad without understanding how they are these things & what the reviewer thinks makes this book “anti-science” or what he interprets to be an example o’ the vice o’ being “too-online”. This is a common tactic for people with unpopular opinions who want to disguise their unpopular opinions as general-held sentiments. Thus, “believes that depression is a real mental illness”, which is something with which all civilized people agree, is turned into a generally-hated dog-whistle “anti-science” much in the way rightwingers turn “treats black people humanely”, which, ’gain, all civilized people think is good, into “woke”, which sounds bad & ridiculous, e’en if most couldn’t tell you what it’s s’posed to mean.

Tier: D

So intrigued by this antireview that failed to give me any information, but, ironically, made me mo’ curious to see what kind o’ book would inspire this vague mess o’ ideas, I had to look up the book on Amazon — specifically its blurb.

In this reviewer’s defense, while I must emphasize ’gain that I have not read this book & cannot adequately review it myself, the blurb doesn’t inspire confidence in me. I can definitely say that the blurb is poorly written:

Martha Friel just turned forty. She used to work at Vogue and was going to write a novel. Now, she creates internet content for no one. She used to live in Paris. Now, she lives in a gated community in Oxford that she hates and can’t bear to leave. But she must now that her loving husband Patrick has just left.

A common vice o’ modern literature ( that is literature o’ today, not modernist literature, which is some o’ the best literature out there ) is relying on childish choppy sentences. This paragraph is particularly fragmentary, since the different sentences don’t e’en connect. Most o’ this paragraph is empty details stripped o’ any importance. “She used to work at Vogue and was going to write a novel”. Cool. ¿Who cares? E’eryone is “going to write a novel”, & writing a book ’bout a tortured “genius” middle class white person struggling to become an uppercase-A “Artist” is the most cliché & uninteresting concepts for a book. Meanwhile, bringing up that our protagonist used to live in Paris, but now lives in a gated community, which she hates, but can’t bear to leave, is some unironic 1st-world-problems & exhibit #200,000 o’ how detached from reality upper-class Americans are. That said, there’s no indication o’ “anti-science” in this book so far; & honestly, the concept o’ a book ’bout someone who “creates internet content for no one” is the least uninteresting part o’ this blurb & could be an entertaining topic for a book if done with self-effacing humor & without the bathos-inducing melodrama that this blurb is so far exhibiting.

The blurb continues:

Because there’s something wrong with Martha. There has been since a little bomb went off in her brain, at seventeen, leaving her changed in a way no doctor or drug could fix then and no one, even now, can explain—why can say she is so often sad, cruel to everyone she loves, why she finds it harder to be alive than other people.

This paragraph just insults the reader’s intelligence, pretending that hardly anyone has e’er heard o’ this concept o’ “depression” before. So far it seems like 1 o’ the 47 words o’ the previous review was right: “egomania”. This blurb tries to pass off our protagonist as the world’s only sufferer from depression, e’en tho that is far from the truth. Usually books ’bout depression are written for others with depression in a way o’ creating resonance & understanding, making them not feel ’lone; but this blurb’s use o’ alien diction to depict depression as this 1-o’-a-kind mutation o’ the protagonist does the opposite: as someone who does have depression, it turns me off, & it feels mo’ like an exotic exhibitionist performance put on to thrill people who don’t have depression — which is a gross, dehumanizing thing to do. I can’t tell, since the previous review was so vague, but maybe this was also what Donaghue meant by “condescending”: it certainly feels condescending to people with depression.

With Patrick gone, the only place Martha has left to go is her childhood home, to live with her chaotic parents, to survive without Ingrid, the sister who made their growing-up bearable, who said she would never give up on Martha, and who finally has.

Speaking o’ vague language: ¿what does it mean for Martha’s parents to be “chaotic”? ¿Is that a euphemism for “abusive”? Also, I certainly hope this Ingrid person literally abandoned Martha & didn’t “abandon” her in a metaphorical way by dying, since the protagonist would look like a selfish asshole for complaining ’bout how she suffered for someone else’s death.

It feels like the end but maybe, by going back, Martha will get to start again. Maybe there is a different story to be written, if Martha can work out where to begin.

“It feels like the end but maybe”’s missing comma is a legit grammatical error in an official blurb for a mass-published book.

I’m sure many o’ the hot-shot commercial publisher types I’ve read from would say that this is a well-written blurb, but I disagree. Then ’gain, I think their perspective is that the obnoxiously intelligence-insulting way this blurb is written is “attention-grabbing” to the masses o’ idiots in the same way jingling keys would be, whereas as someone who doesn’t find jingling keys particularly fascinating, I find it, well, obnoxiously intelligence-insulting, so this is probably why I wouldn’t make a good publisher, since my instinct is to criticize the masses for being idiots, which isn’t liable to make the masses o’ idiots want to buy my stuff, whereas the effective way to fleece them is to pat them on the back for their idiocy & indulge them.

But we haven’t gotten to the bottom o’ the swamp yet: that would be the editorial reviews.

“Sorrow and Bliss is a brilliantly faceted and extremely funny book about depression that engulfed me in the way I’m always hoping to be engulfed by novels. While I was reading it, I was making a list of all the people I wanted to send it to, until I realized that I wanted to send it to everyone I know.” — Ann Patchett

Drinking game: take a drink e’ery time we see “brilliant” or [insert adverb] funny. Enjoy that coma from alcohol poisoning.

But this review doesn’t just spew clichés, but also mangles them: ¿what does “brilliantly faceted” mean? Nobody uses that phrase. The phrase is “multifaceted”, not just “faceted”. “Faceted” by itself doesn’t mean anything in this context, & it isn’t made any mo’ meaningful by the addendum o’ an empty superlative before it.

We also have laughably exaggerated metaphors, making it sound like the reviewer has an online fetish for being “engulfed” by literature.

The most shocking thing is that this blurb was written by a real writer & the daughter o’ 1 o’ the most imaginative writers who had a very distinct voice to his writing. I guess you can’t inherit literary genius. My only hope is that Ann crapped this out in a minute for whate’er quick buck they were offering.

Tier: E

“Completely brilliant, I loved it. I think every girl and woman should read it.” — Gillian Anderson

This reviewer judges this book to be “completely brilliant”, as opposed to those which are merely partially brilliant. Then we get a comma splice, & after that redundant padding: Gillian doesn’t just think e’ery woman should read it, but also e’ery girl. ¿Why stop there? Maybe e’ery female, lady, gal, lass, miss, madame, femme, & any other synonym you could find should read it, too.

Tier: F

“An incredibly funny and devastating debut. . . . enlivened, often, by a madcap energy. Yet it still manages to be sensitive and heartfelt, and to offer a nuanced portrayal of what it means to try to make amends and change, even when that involves ‘start[ing] again from nothing.’” — The Guardian

It says something bad when a newspaper as shoddy as The Guardian provides 1 o’ the least inane review o’ the pack. There’s still plenty o’ trite, empty phrases ( “madcap energy” ) & empty, repetitive superlatives ( “sensitive & heartfelt” ), & the reviewer fails to describe this book in a way that distinguishes it from millions of other books, that could also be described as “funny & devastating”, or the many books that vaguely involve “try[ing] to make amends & change, even when that involves ‘start[ing] again from nothing’.

Tier: D

“Exploring the multifaceted hardships of mental illness and the frustrating inaccuracy of diagnoses, medications, and treatments, Sorrow and Bliss is darkly comic and deeply heartfelt . . . Martha’s voice is acerbic, witty, and raw.” — Booklist (starred review)

This is the closest a review came to having anything resembling a specific example from the book to make it stand out from any other book, the conflict o’ struggling with “inaccurate” diagnoses & medications — tho this does make me rethink my earlier interpretation o’ our 1st reviewer’s criticism o’ “anti-science” & makes me wonder if, quite the opposite, he was criticizing this book for exhibiting depression-skepticism or skepticism toward the efficacy o’ antidepressants ( I don’t feel bad for the misinterpretation, since, as I said, he refused to give a concrete example to back up their vague criticism o’ “anti-science” ).

Tier: C

“Meg Mason’s unflagging comic impulses drive this novel about the havoc a woman’s mental illness wreaks on her marriage.” — Shelf Awareness (starred review)

A common vice o’ reviews, specially editorial reviews, which are far too short to give useful information, is trading meaningful critique based on examples o’ the text with empty but poetic ( & that poetry is mo’ William McGonagall than Kobayashi Issa ) diction. If this reviewer wrote “This book ’bout a woman’s depression ruining their marriage is funny” ’twould say ’bout the same thing, but they try to hide such an empty conclusion with laughably o’erwrought purple prose as if they were describing Conan the Barbarian wrestling the ermine-orbed serpent or Moses parting the red sea with his rod aloft: this book isn’t just funny; its writer’s “unflagging comic impulses drive this novel” like a school bus.

Tier: D

“Brutal, tender, funny, this novel—a portrait of love in all of its many incarnations—came alive for me from the very first page. I saw myself here. I saw the people I love. I am changed by this book.” — Mary Beth Keane, New York Times bestselling author of Ask Again, Yes

’Nother common design pattern for automated review generation: “[adjective], [adjective], [adjective]…]. & if that wasn’t ’nough, we end 1 o’ the tritest, most ridiculous exaggerated praise e’er: claiming that the work “changed” the reviewer. Unfortunately, these works ne’er change these reviewers into people with any form o’ imagination or critical skills o’ analysis.

By the way, my favorite example o’ this silly trope is a YouTube video that claims in its thumbnail, I shit you not, that the music in Donkey Kong Country:

I mean, I love Donkey Kong Country’s music, too, but I can’t remember any philosophical epiphanies or major life decisions I’ve come to that were inspired by the bubbling melodies o’ “Hot Head Bop”.

Tier: E

“A truly comic novel about love and the despair of depression. It’s a rare and beautiful thing when an author can break your heart with humor; it’s also the quality I admire most in a writer.”  — Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney, New York Times bestselling author of The Nest and Good Company

This novel is truly comic, as opposed to those fake comedic posers. This review is notable in that it makes a point specific ’nough to be outright wrong: tragicomedy is, in fact, not rare @ all, but goes all the way back to e’en The Bible, & probably earlier ancient literature, too.

Tier: D

“A quiet and achingly beautiful love story. . . . LOVED it. Masterfully written. And powerful.” — Elin Hilderbrand

More o’erwrought prose. I hate it when a book is so beautiful it gives me aches. To wrap up our bathos, we have the high superlative “masterfully written” followed by the much weaker “also, ’twas powerful, too”. “This book is genius & also pretty darn swell”.

Tier: F

“Sorrow and Bliss is hilarious, haunting, and utterly captivating. Meg Mason has created a heroine as prickly as Bernadette in Where’d You Go, Bernadette. Her humor is as arch and wise as the best work of Joan Didion and Rachel Cusk, yet completely original. What a thrilling new voice!” — Amanda Eyre Ward, New York Times bestselling author of The Jetsetters

The other cliché to add to our bingo card is comparing a work to ’nother work — tho I love how this reviewer twists 1 o’ her comparisons by addending, “yet completely original”. Yes, this completely original work that can only be described by saying it’s like other works. I’m also not sure what “arch” humor is & have a sneaking suspicion that this reviewer doesn’t know, either.

Tier: E

“Funny and tragic.” — Jojo Moyes

Give Jojo credit: this says what all the other reviews say in just 3 words.

Tier: D

“I really loved Meg Mason’s SORROW AND BLISS, which is sometimes very sad and often very funny and ultimately hopeful.” — Linda Holmes, New York Times bestselling author of Evvie Drake Starts Over, via Twitter

OK, to be fair, this 1 adds “& hopeful”, too.

Tier: E

“So dark, so funny, so true. You will see your sad, struggling, triumphant self in this deeply affecting novel. What a debut.” — Laura Zigman, author of Separation Anxiety

Calling a book “deeply affecting” is like describing my chair as “strongly sittable”: it may be true, but doesn’t mean much.

Tier: F

“A gorgeous, heart-rending book.” — Flynn Berry, New York Times bestselling author of Northern Spy


Tier: F

“SORROW AND BLISS is brilliant. A comic gem that will also break your heart.” — Julia Claiborne Johnson, author of Be Frank With Me and Better Luck Next Time

I’m surprised it took this long to encounter a review describing the work as a gem or some kind o’ jewelry.

Tier: F

“Evocative and hopeful.” — Book Riot, “5 Contemporary Literary Fiction Books That Are Game-Changers”

Generic & meaningless. That’s a great way to describe a book that is purportedly a “game-changer”. Nobody’s e’er written a book that’s evocative or hopeful till Meg Mason invented the concepts o’ evocation & hope in 2021.

Tier: F

“Sorrow and Bliss is a thing of beauty. Astute observations on marriage, motherhood, family, and mental illness are threaded through a story that is by turns devastating and restorative. Every sentence rings true. I will be telling everyone I love to read this book.” — Sara Collins, Costa First Novel Award-winning author of The Confessions of Frannie Langton

¿Why do you abuse the people you love?

Tier: E

“Sharp yet humane, and jaw-droppingly funny, this is the kind of novel you will want to press into the hands of everyone you know. Mason has an extraordinary talent for dialogue and character, and her understanding of how much poignancy a reader can take is profound. A masterclass on family, damage and the bonds of love: as soon as I finished it, I started again.” — Jessie Burton, New York Times bestselling author of The Miniaturist

“Spicy, yet sour, & nose-pickingly readable, this is the kind o’ review you will want to shove into the mouth o’ e’eryone you know. Jessie has a spectacular skill for adverbs & using commas, & her understanding o’ how much zestiness a reader can take is insightful. A Raid: Shadow Legends on drama, diction, & the love triangle o’ adjectives: as soon as I ate it, I ate it ’gain.” — J. J. W. Mezun, The Mezunian bestrepelling author o’ A Year o’ Yuppie Inanity with Mozilla’s Pocket ( An Unpublished Classic ).

Tier: D

“Patrick Melrose meets Fleabag. Brilliant.” — Clare Chambers, author of Small Pleasures

¡Irrelevancy, your honor!

Tier: F

“Examines with pitiless clarity the impact of the narrator’s mental illness on her closest relationships. . . . Mason brings the reader into a deep understanding of Martha’s experience without either condescending to her or letting her off too easily. . . . An astute depiction of life on the psychic edge.” — Kirkus Reviews

They’re not surprising, but these god damn adjectives still get me. You can’t just have regular ol’ clarity: it has to be the “pitiless” kind, like it’s a stronger palette swap in the latter half o’ Dragon Quest. Since we’ve established that the blurb a’least thinks Martha is the only person in the universe with this exotic mutation as-yet unnamed & undiscovered by all the brightest scientists, I’m doubtful o’ the “without either condescending” part. & since Martha apparently complains ’bout how agonizing it is to live in a gated community that they just can’t bear to leave, ’less Martha is given the guillotine by the proletariat by the end o’ the book, I think the author probably does let her off too easily.

Tier: D

“The book is a triumph. A brutal, hilarious, compassionate triumph.” — Alison Bell, cocreator and star of The Letdown

¿Was this review written by Lionel Fanthorpe? “This review is repetitive. A repetitive repetition that repeats & repeats & says the same thing they say ’gain & ’gain & doesn’t say anything else but that which has been said before & nothing mo’ but what was said before”.

Tier: F

“This is a romance, true, but a real one. It’s modern love up against the confusing, sad aches of mental illness, with all its highs, lows, humour and misery. Comparisons to Sally Rooney will be made, but Mason’s writing is less self-conscious than Rooney’s, and perhaps more mature. Her character work is outstanding, and poignant—the hairline fractures, contradictions and nuances of the middle-class family dynamic are painstakingly rendered with moving familiarity and black humour, resulting in a combination as devastating and sharply witty as Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Fleabag.” — Bookseller+Publisher

I’m glad that the reviewer alerted me that this book is a “real” romance, as opposed to all those fake romances that are truly ’bout martian conquerors. I always hate it when I buy a book with some sexy shirtless man on the cover & it’s just blasting cyberpneumatic cannons @ the Xythnians from Kyklocks. ¿How will my cyberpneumatic cannon shoot off then?

& they let you know that this is a modern love, involving mental illness, which didn’t exist before 2021. ¿Virginia Woolf? ¡Ne’er heard o’ her!

Despite all this, this is 1 o’ the mo’ in-depth — a’least as in-depth as any o’ these Hallmark card reviews get — reviews. Note how it makes a comparison to ’nother writer, but qualifies it by noting specific differences ( which is mo’ meaningful than just saying “but also completely original”, which is just straight-up contradictory ). Granted, it’d be better if the claims o’ being “less self-conscious” & “more mature” were qualified with examples & elaboration, since we’re still taking the reviewer on their word & they’re still relying heavily on vague superlatives. & the rest also devolves into a list o’ superlatives, with the hint that it this book s’posedly goes into greater depth into the complications o’ middle-class families than some unnamed general standard being the closest to what we might call actually giving meaningful information. Still, based on our now subterranean standards this is up on the higher tiers.

Tier: B

“Improbably charming . . . will have you chortling and reading lines aloud.” — People

( Laughs ). E’en the reviewers are vague: we don’t e’en get a specific person cited for this review, but some vague “people”. This gives a new perspective to the phrase “¡The people have spoken!”.

I like how “People” starts by laying out their expectations that this book would be shitty, setting up the gravel-level standards this book apparently surpassed. Presumably, these low standards were based on reading the blurb.

This review carries out the impressive feat o’ being both vague & clearly wrong: it libels me by claiming that I will “chortle” — ’cause our failed poet reviewer can’t use a basic word like “laugh” — & read lines ’loud, which I would ne’er do for e’en the funniest book, simply ’cause reading lines ’loud while laughing noisily in public is something only a peak douche bag would do, & reading lines ’loud & laughing to yourself while ’lone is something e’en a deranged lunatic like me would consider too bedlamite.

Tier: F

Below these reviews my eye caught the author bio, &, well…

Meg Mason is a journalist whose career began at the Financial Times and the Times of London. Her work has since appeared in Vogue, Elle, the Sydney Morning Herald, the Sunday Times (UK), and the New Yorker’s Daily Shouts. Born in New Zealand, she now lives in Sydney, Australia, with her husband and two daughters. [emphasis mine]

So we can confirm that Sorrow & Bliss: A Work o’ Literature Comprising Abstract Latin Letters that Combine to Form Abstract Concepts Physically Bound in the Form o’ a Codex is an author self-insert book so transparent that the author couldn’t e’en be arsed to change the name o’ the magazine they worked for to 1 o’ its carbon-copy competitors.

Bonus: Mo’ Bad Reviews

Our 1st reviewer, Steve Donaghue, also wrote a list o’ worst 2021 nonfiction books, & it starts pretty funny:

10 The Chief’s Chief by Mark Meadows (All Seasons Press) – On January 6, 2021, President Donald Trump incited a violent insurrection to attack the US Capitol, overthrow the US government, and install himself as an unelected dictator. Mark Meadows publicly endorsed this attempted coup. Shame on All Seasons Press for giving him a book contract.

Kind o’ low-hanging fruit for a worst-book choice, — specially since the rightwing grift machine pumps out these doorstops e’ery year — but I can’t disagree, & it’s only #10. ¿What’s next?

Tier: B

9 The Tyranny of Big Tech by Josh Hawley (Regnery Publishing) On January 6, 2021, President Donald Trump incited a violent insurrection to attack the US Capitol, overthrow the US government, and install himself as an unelected dictator. Josh Hawley publicly endorsed this attempted coup. Shame on Regnery Publishing for giving him a book contract.

I mean, I can’t disagree…

Tier: B

Unfortunately, Donaghue gives ’way the game when he makes a mistake copy-pasting the review for the Peter Navarro book & using for the Jim Jordan book, as he blames Peter Navarro ’gain. Or maybe he just really hates Peter Navarro & decides he wants to blame him a 2nd time just to be sure.

Some o’ the other items are weirder, tho…

6 The Authoritarian Moment: How the Left Weaponized America’s Institutions Against Dissent by Ben Shapiro (Broadside Books) – Very smart and very lazy Ben Shapiro takes a legitimate social issue – the rise of the authoritarian Left – and lavishes pan-shallow unoriginal platitudes on them while cloaking the whole mess in the fascists talking points of the very monsters who consider him a useful idiot.

1 o’ the great thing ’bout using these vague superlatives or invectives is that I have to play guessing games regarding what the person is trying to e’en say. Now, from Ben Shapiro that’s no surprise, since like most fascists he deliberately communicates in shibboleths to disguise bigotry as profound, complex thought. But Donaghue, who portrays himself as vaguely antifascist & spent half his reviews criticizing what many fascists considered to be a feather in their cap, seems to have different goals. One may expect him to be o’ the Enlightened Centrist™ tribe who feels the need to balance out their outrage @ a Republican attempt to outright o’erthrow the US government by manufacturing an imaginary leftist equivalent. Perhaps he portrays the “Black Lives Matter” riots as the equivalent, despite the fact that these riots presented no threat to the US government beyond being an international embarrassment — & if that’s the case, then we’d have to consider nearly e’ery American who vacations to other countries as an equal evil to the Trump Putsch. ¿But, anyway, would e’en an Enlightened Centrist™ consider Shapiro to be “very smart and very lazy”? I’m hoping Donaghue takes his brilliant “rap isn’t music ’cause my daddy told me it isn’t” & the way he embarrassed himself in front o’ a BBC conservative by being too crazy e’en for him — which adds him to the list o’ Americans who are an international embarrassment — as examples o’ him just being too lazy to unleash that intelligence that he’s keeping very well hidden.

It’s not that I’m in denial that there exists an authoritarian left; but when I think o’ “authoritarian left”, I think o’ Leninists, & I don’t see any big Leninist movement on the verge o’ seizing the US capitol & setting up the American Neobolshevik Communist Party as the dictatorship o’ the proletariat, no matter how many jokes ’bout guillotines I make. As we’ve established here before, we can’t e’en get Biden to do something as symbolic as raising his fist & shouting, “¡Down with the bourgeoisie!”, while still doing their bidding, no matter how funny ’twould be. Maybe Donaghue took some downers & fell asleep while watching a Russian Civil War documentary just after US news & mixed them up in his mind. It happens to me sometimes, too. But given some o’ the other things he’s written, I get the sneaking suspicion his idea o’ “authoritarian left” is just some irrelevant few randos on Twitter calling him a racist ’cause he refused to capitalize the B in “black people” — which is to say that he is “too-online” & needs to stop spending so much time on Twitter & mistaking the idiots on it as relevant to greater society.

Complaining ’bout the “rise” o’ the authoritarian left also really undermines Donaghue’s attacks gainst Trump as a fascist — a clear rightwing authoritarian. ¿Is it reasonable for him to be alarmed that the left should become authoritarian as a counterbalance to the right’s growing authoritarianism, or is Donaghue 1 o’ the many delusional Americans who thinks reality spawns from dreams & wishes & not power & that sternly protesting people willing to use violence & underhanded tactics will magically make these tyrant-wannabes no longer a threat? After all, when fascism rose as a threat in Europe, the allied powers acted in many ways that almost anyone would consider “authoritarian” — far worse than a few randos calling other randos racist for not spelling “latinos” “l@t!n%”, like any progressive L33tspeaker should. ¿Would not Donaghue consider FDR, who interned Japanese Americans & heavily censored newspapers, radio, & e’en letters, an example o’ the “authoritarian left”? ¿Would he say the same ’bout Winston Churchill, who also censored media while the UK was fighting fascists? Also, ¿didn’t Donaghue outright call for publishers to refuse to publish works by Trump supporters? ¿Isn’t that censorship, & thus “authoritarianism” — a far greater form o’ authoritarianism than calling other people bad names, which, in fact, is not authoritarianism, but merely using one’s freedom-o’-speech rights to express their opinion of others? It seems reasonable that in an America where violence gainst minorities is on the rise that jokes ’bout black people go from being harmless edgy comedy to a means to recruiting mo’ fascists, & that it’s a reasonable reaction by the left to feel added urgency to employ whate’er means don’t full-on violate freedom o’ speech, or e’en defacto suppression o’ speech thru economic means, to try & stifle & undermine this tactic, which, ultimately, is for the goal o’ subverting e’en the pseudodemocracy that the US has. But I guess it’s mo’ important that Donaghue ne’er has to fear being called a racist, which is literally lethal to white people, than it is for white people to endure the slightest inconvenience to prevent fascism from coming to power. Expressing one’s disdain for fascism is all one needs to do to make it topple @ its foundation in the fantasyland o’ people who live purely in the world o’ books & not political reality.

But it gets worse…

5 Nice Racism: How Progressive White People Perpetuate Racial Harm by Robin DiAngelo (Beacon Press) – I wouldn’t have thought it possible that the author of White Fragility could write a book more virulently racist in just one lifetime, but this noxious volume – in which she makes clear that all white people are racist genetically, regardless of upbringing, education, or outlook (Klan members will find such claims familiar-sounding, only in a slightly different context) – does the trick.

This review devolves into outright malicious lying, & one can easily see this simply by reviewing the Amazon blurb:

In White Fragility, Robin DiAngelo explained how racism is a system into which all white people are socialized and challenged the belief that racism is a simple matter of good people versus bad. [emphasis mine]

Dr. DiAngelo — who is a white person, & so can shit-talk crackers just as much as I can, just like black people can use the N-word — nowhere blames genetics for racism, but white people’s social conditioning. This makes sense when you consider that Dr. DiAngelo is a sociologist, not a biologist. Mo’ importantly, she distinguishes it from the bitter hatred o’, say, a Klansman, as a different kind o’ racism caused by an unintentional harm caused by ignorance. It is Donaghue who decides to be triggered by being called a well-meaning accidental racist, as if this “offense” is anywhere close to the kind o’ spiteful, actually threatening speech that hardcore racist white people spew ( ¿does DiAngelo recommend harassing white people with depression & urging them to kill themselves in her book, which is what white supremacist groups like Stormfront actually did to people after Trump won the election? ), & rather than do what a smart person with any dignity would do & just shrug it off & say, “¿What are you gonna do?”, he stupidly gives in to the bait & reacts in the most extreme, idiotic way possible, literally reacting to the accusation o’ being racist with the schoolyard comeback, “¡No, you are! ¡In fact, you’re such a superultramega racist that you’re just like those Klansmen who murdered & intimidated black people for decades… ’cept, you know, you haven’t actually murdered anyone or intimated anyone or have done anything but make a few white people feel a li’l queasy”. It shows an amazing lack o’ self-awareness that a white person would unironically attack without e’en the slightest sense o’ humor a book called “White Fragility”. “¡Can you believe these bullies called me a whiny bitch!”, he whinily bitched. I would venture to argue that the idiocy that Donaghue portrays here is mo’ racist gainst white people like me since it does far mo’ damage to our reputation than some guilt-fetishing honkey, whose worst crime is actually probably annoying black people with her constant Jesus-like faux-humility, as if constant apologies & longwinded treatises on made-up jargon acronyms like BIPOC help black people with real problems, like being shot by white supremacist police or poverty — albeit, none o’ which are on the same level o’ enormity as people on Twitter calling Donaghue mean words.

Donaghue could’ve gotten sympathy by merely calling this book dumb & useless; but portraying it as an extreme form o’ racism comparable to Klan lynchings is a ridiculous form o’ both-sidesism that helps the very fascists he pretends to be fighting gainst. Trying to conflate minor misdemeanors gainst white people as equal to the worst acts o’ racist terror gainst black people is the precise tactic that fascists use to justify white supremacist terror as “defense” gainst “the authoritarian left”.

Anyway, this review o’ reviews has gone on way too long. Get the fuck out o’ my house so I can take my pants off.

Posted in Literature Commentary, Politics, Reviewing Reviews, Yuppy Tripe

Shocking News: New York Times Readers Have Terrible Taste in Literature

The New York Times is a perennial target o’ mockery for the same reason as mainstream economics: as per my Nobel-Prize-winning Satirical Function for Determining Mockery for Particular Participants, a key component o’ Mezunian economics, as set forth in the face-melting Economicon, people with high opinions o’ their intelligence but low actual intelligence are the choicest targets. This is the newspaper who turn their noses @ the vulgar social media & blogs kicking their asses, which would be fine if they actually had standards ( I, too, turn my nose up @ social media, tho that’s mostly ’cause they have shitty user interfaces & try to dox me just by using them ), but this is also the same newspaper that regularly posts articles by “Suck On This, Iraq” living moustache Thomas Friedman; near Darwin Award winner for apparently almost dying from a pot candy bar, Maureen Dowd; Ross Douthat, a man who bragged ’bout how he was too stupid to read a relatively simple economics book that he shockingly misinterpreted ( Capital in the 21st Century isn’t Marxian but merely an adjustment to neoclassical economics ) while recommending creepy ol’ men in universities act as surrogate daddies to women students so they’d be less likely to be financially successful ( he references a study that shows that college students who attend rich parties a lot tend to be mo’ successful due to the networking opportunities ); & “Hot Dog & Bun Factory fairy tale proves offshoring doesn’t cause unemployment” Paul Krugman, the Nickelback o’ economists, dearly beloved by moderate “liberals” who have ne’er read any other economists.

So ’twas no surprise when looking o’er The New York Times’s list for the best books in the last 125 years ( that seemingly random # is due to it being a celebration for their own book reviews section ) that they also have terrible tastes in terms o’ literature. During the initial preliminaries we had a bizarre hodgepodge: Ulysses right next to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” ( not only does The New York Times stupidly insist on using the inane US title made up by ignorant executives ’cause they thought US readers would be as dumb as them, they also picked 1 that hardly any Harry Potter fan would pick o’er, say, The Goblet of Fire or The Order of the Phoenix ), The Great Gatsby next to Charlotte’s Web. ( If they were going to include a kid’s book, ¿why the hell would they pick a book that mo’ people probably know ’bout due to the Hanna-Barbera cartoon rather than something like Alice in Wonderland, which has actual literary value & is 1000-times mo’ influential? ). Meanwhile missing are À la recherche du temps perdu, which is regularly put up there with Ulysses; no The Magic Mountain; no Gravity’s Rainbow; no Moby Dick; no Petersburg by Andrei Bely ( admittedly an underrated gem e’en outside the New York Times ); nor a single book by Virginia Woolf, Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, William Falkner, Ralph Ellison, Zora Neale Hurston, Umberto Eco, Borges, Yukio Mishima…

But since then they’ve narrowed it to 5 choices. Let’s see what these choices are:

5. Beloved

This isn’t a bad choice, tho NYT readers probably only know ’bout it now thanks to the brilliant marketing assistance Republicans are giving Toni Morrison by banning it from schools for making white kids feel queasy, a common character-building exercise schools employ ( Republicans, as everyone knows, are disgusted by the idea that their children might build mo’ character ’bove their own feebleness ).

I want you to keep in mind this entry’s ranking for later, tho…

4. One Hundred Years of Solitude

Also a solid book, tho I can’t imagine anyone truly familiar with Latin American literature ranking this as higher than much o’ Borges’s work ( indeed, it’s a post on r/unpopularopinions ), which was much mo’ experimental & arguably mo’ influential. Granted, this is probably the only Latin American work these honkeys know.

3. 1984

& here’s where it all goes downhill. This book is dogshit. Isaac Asimov wrote a famous devastating review gainst this book & its cynical attempt to half-assedly exploit science fiction without understanding an iota o’ that genre & all its nuances as a tool for pure political propaganda by a man who, howe’er great his politics were ( a’least before he started McCarthying people he suspected were communist, gay, “too anti-white” — read: opposed to racism gainst black people — to the UK’s IRD ), ne’er had any respect or understanding for art as art itself, who saw it as nothing beyond a tool for propaganda, as everything else. Beyond politics this book has no value: its characters are 1-dimensional strawmen, its language is basic, & the world-building is shallow & inane — a whiny teenager’s idea o’ how e’en totalitarian societies operate, which is why teenagers ( & those whose politics is mentally adolescent ) love it so much.

But e’en as propaganda, this book is an utter failure: it’s an amazing self-own that such a vociferous democratic socialist created the greatest tool o’ propaganda gainst socialism, used primarily by alt-right hacks like Ben Shapiro, which is easy thanks to this book being so broad & vague — which is precisely why it “resonates” with everyone: it allows everyone to fill in the “evil” side with whate’er they want. That the man who warned ’bout the emptiness o’ terms like “democracy” & “fascism” would write a book with heroes & villains so empty is a shocking failure. His nonfiction, specially his essays & Homage to Catalonia, are far better than this waste o’ time.

2. “The Fellowship of the Ring”

The New York Times are such morons that they don’t e’en realize that this isn’t a book, but part o’ a book: mistaking The Lord of the Rings as a “trilogy” ’stead o’ a single, unified book separated into volumes by the publisher gainst Tolkein’s wishes for crass business reasons is a classic amateur move. For anyone else it’d be nitpicking, but it’s hilarious to me that an organization that prides themselves on s’posed honest integrity would make a basic mistake that you’d get roasted for on fucking TV Tropes, the website that lets anyone add whate’er conspiracy theory they want without citations & calls themselves a “buttload mo’ informal” than Wikipedia ( which also wouldn’t let such a sloppy mistake slide ). This is pretty much exhibit A evidence that it’d be safer to get your news from Wikipedia than The New York Times ( which is not to encourage getting one’s news from Wikipedia ).

They also lose points for not using the kickass psychedelic book covers they used in the 60s official US editions as their image:

Some might expect me to laugh @ The New York Times for putting a mainstream fantasy work @ the #2 spot; but while I myself would not consider The Lord of the Rings the 2nd best novel o’ the last 125 years, or e’en in the top 10, I can see some reasoning ’hind its inclusion: it’s unquestionably the most influential book on this list that pretty much created the modern fantasy genre as it exists. That deserves some props. It also has a lot mo’ literary value than people give it credit: it has finely-crafted worldbuilding that pays attention to details down to the moon cycles with believable fantasy languages ( helped by Tolkein being a legit linguist ). While the characters can be hokey sometimes, there is mo’ moral nuance than one might remember: it’s a clever twist that the ring is vanquished not by the nobility o’ the heroes, who it turns out, are not so heroic that they can o’ercome the ring’s power, but by the pitiful Golem, who accidentally drops it in the volcano trying to steal it — & is only able to ’cause earlier in the book the heroes decide to spare him. Granted, it’s just conservative Christian “turn the other cheek” slave morality; but genuine Christian morality is mo’ refreshing than the might-makes-right white-&-black morality that conservatives oft erroneously pass off as Christian morality. Moreo’er, tho, this book has excellent prose, specially its scenery descriptions, which is a rarity in a lot o’ contemporary literature, both “literary” & “genre”.

It’s better than Harry Potter & certainly several leagues ’bove 1984, as well as the next book on this list…

1. To Kill a Mockingbird

This choice for #1 book o’ the past 125 years is such an amazingly bad choice — & yet so perfect for The New York Times’s main demographic. Its o’errated mediocrity is merely a reflection o’ The New York Times.

Much as 1984 is only beloved as juvenile political propaganda, To Kill a Mockingbird is mainly beloved as a weak white-centric attack gainst racism — which is specially bad when you consider Beloved, a much better book in every way that’s much mo’ devastating & unsentimental in its criticism o’ racism, was 4 books below. That none o’ Ralph Ellison’s books made it on this list or e’en the preliminary list is criminal. These fuckers thought god damn Charlotte’s Web is better than Invisible Man. What toilet paper o’ a newspaper.

& yet, it can’t be a surprise that the multitude o’ self-indulgent white liberals who read The New York Times would prefer this self-masturbatory tract o’ the noble middle-class white lawyer who tries to save a black man, who is treated mo’ as a prop to demonstrate our white savior’s greatness than as a real person, from the savage poor whites. Mixed in this book is a ton o’ classism: only the upper-middle-class lazy-libertarian Atticus, who opposes systems o’ racial inequality but praises systems o’ economic inequality that are just as racist, & Tom Robinson’s rich employer are depicted as anti-racism ( the book doesn’t acknowledge that both these people — the Atticuses have a black servant — exploit their racist society to get cheap labor out o’ black people ). It legit reads like a South Park episode, & is a twisted view o’ the real world: tho there are definitely racist, dumb, & repulsive poor white people, rich white institutions are the leaders in exploiting racism for their gains.

In addition to its weak-ass politics, this book doesn’t have all that much literary value. Compare Beloved, with its anachronistic chapter order & its greater use o’ imagery, color, symbolism, & just o’erall much better prose. To Kill a Mockingbird is a thoroughly unexperimental book with prose so basic & repetitive it becomes tedious to read real quick & makes hardly any use o’ the large gamut o’ tools the English language & structures put @ the writer’s disposal. Ironically, Truman Capote’s friend hardly did a better job o’ writing rather than typing than Jack Kerouac.

Here’s an example o’ the stellar prose in this book:

The Radley Place fascinated Dill. In spite of our warnings and explanations it drew him as the moon draws water, but drew him no nearer than the light-pole on the corner, a safe distance from the Radley gate. There he would stand, his arm around the fat pole, staring and wondering.

The Radley Place jutted into a sharp curve beyond our house. Walking south, one faced its porch; the sidewalk turned and ran beside the lot. The house was low, was once white with a deep front porch and green shutters, but had long agodarkened to the color of the slate-gray yard around it. Rain-rotted shingles drooped over the eaves of the veranda; oak trees kept the sun away. The remains of a picket drunkenly guarded the front yard— a “swept” yard that was never swept— where johnson grass and rabbit-tobacco grew in abundance.

& that was me trying to find a relatively good part o’ the book. It’s hardly the worst prose in the world — ¿but this is the kind o’ prose in the best book o’ the past 125 years? ¿Better than the flowing detailed descriptions o’ À la recherche du temps perdu? ¿Better than the haiku-like sharp details & experimental subjective perspectives o’ Virginia Woolf’s The Waves? Give me an hour & I could probably find 100 books with better prose than this book, which hardly has any better prose than your average Stephen King or James Patterson. I think Brandon Sanderson probably has better prose & unquestionably Lord of the Rings does.

Meanwhile, most o’ the prose is tedious dreck like this:

Mrs. Merriweather seemed to have a hit, everybody was cheering so, but she caught me backstage and told me I had ruined her pageant. She made me feel awful, but when Jem came to fetch me he was sympathetic. He said he couldn’t see my costume much from where he was sitting. How he could tell I was feeling bad under my costume I don’t know, but he said I did all right, I just came in a little late, that was all. Jem was becoming almost as good as Atticus at making you feel right when things went wrong. Almost—not even Jem could make me go through that crowd, and he consented to wait backstage with me until the audience left.

I know some people take the “show, don’t tell” thing too far & demand that everyone “clench their fist” & bark like dogs rather than just be pissed off, but “She made me feel awful, but when Jem came to fetch me he was sympathetic” might be 1 o’ the most sterile way to describe something, specially since the sentence right after already shows how he shows sympathy, so this sentence is redundant filler. I refuse to believe this isn’t rough draft material.

& I know this is s’posed to be a child narrating ( ¿tho is it s’posed to be a child now or an adult reminiscing ’bout their childhood? ), but e’en children aren’t this dull, & it’s not as if children are this grammatically correct, anyway. Contrast with The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which is also from the perspective o’ a child, which has much mo’ character to its hick talk — not the least o’ which ’cause Mark Twain put much mo’ care into the various dialects. Also, Huckleberry Finn is a comedy, so its plain talk works better than when To Kill a Mockingbird tries to use it for s’posedly profound speeches.

Here’s an example o’ The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’s much better prose:

We judged that three nights more would fetch us to Cairo, at the bottom of Illinois, where the Ohio River comes in, and that was what we was after. We would sell the raft and get on a steamboat and go way up the Ohio amongst the free States, and then be out of trouble.

Well, the second night a fog begun to come on, and we made for a towhead to tie to, for it wouldn’t do to try to run in a fog; but when I paddled ahead in the canoe, with the line to make fast, there warn’t anything but little saplings to tie to. I passed the line around one of them right on the edge of the cut bank, but there was a stiff current, and the raft come booming down so lively she tore it out by the roots and away she went. I see the fog closing down, and it made me so sick and scared I couldn’t budge for most a half a minute it seemed to me—and then there warn’t no raft in sight; you couldn’t see twenty yards. I jumped into the canoe and run back to the stern, and grabbed the paddle and set her back a stroke. But she didn’t come. I was in such a hurry I hadn’t untied her. I got up and tried to untie her, but I was so excited my hands shook so I couldn’t hardly do anything with them.

As soon as I got started I took out after the raft, hot and heavy, right down the towhead. That was all right as far as it went, but the towhead warn’t sixty yards long, and the minute I flew by the foot of it I shot out into the solid white fog, and hadn’t no more idea which way I was going than a dead man.

Note that when this book’s telling, it just tells in short sentences, saving its long, multi-clause sentences for mo’ detailed description. Also note how the hick talk is done thru a much livelier dialect, rather than just sounding like it’s coming from an uneducated robot.

Keep in mind, most wouldn’t say that Huckleberry Finn has anywhere near the best prose o’ all literature — it’s just 1 o’ hundreds with better prose than To Kill a Mockingbird.

While this book is relatively short @ 96,000 words, its main plots — Tom Robinson’s trial & the mystery o’ Boo Radley — are e’en shorter. So short, in fact, that this book could probably be a novella if not for all the padded-out dialogue of ordinary people doing ordinary things. There’s 1 scene that goes on for several pages wherein Jem tries to give a note to Boo Radley, which just goes back & forth with filler dialogue, only to end on a shaggy dog story when Atticus stops him. This kind o’ stuff isn’t inherently terrible: Ulysses, widely considered 1 o’ the best works o’ English literature, is mostly just ordina — well, people doing ordinary things. But that book plays a dozen literary tricks as it does so, which is why there are entire books dedicated to footnotes for every few sentence o’ that book, while there’s nothing to say ’bout e’ery “Thank you” & “No, sir” in this book. Plus, e’en its prose is better: nothing in this book will compare to the lavish way Bloom describes the uses o’ water in the “Ithaca” chapter.

’Nother contrast. Here’s 1 o’ the dozen or so pointless scenes in Mockingbird:

One afternoon a month later Jem was ploughing his way through Sir Walter Scout, as Jem called him, and Mrs. Dubose was correcting him at every turn, when there was a knock on the door. “Come in!” she screamed.

Atticus came in. He went to the bed and took Mrs. Dubose’s hand. “I was coming from the office and didn’t see the children,” he said. “I thought they might still be here.”

Mrs. Dubose smiled at him. For the life of me I could not figure out how she could bring herself to speak to him when she seemed to hate him so. “Do you know what time it is, Atticus?” she said. “Exactly fourteen minutes past five. The alarm clock’s set for five-thirty. I want you to know that.”

It suddenly came to me that each day we had been staying a little longer at Mrs. Dubose’s, that the alarm clock went off a few minutes later every day, and that she was well into one of her fits by the time it sounded. Today she had antagonized Jem for nearly two hours with no intention of having a fit, and I felt hopelessly trapped. The alarm clock was the signal for our release; if one day it did not ring, what would we do?

“I have a feeling that Jem’s reading days are numbered,” said Atticus.

“Only a week longer, I think,” she said, “just to make sure…”

Jem rose. “But—”

Atticus put out his hand and Jem was silent. On the way home, Jem said he had to do it just for a month and the month was up and it wasn’t fair.

“Just one more week, son,” said Atticus.

“No,” said Jem. “Yes,” said Atticus.

( “‘Come in!’ she screamed”, followed immediately in the next paragraph, “Atticus came in”, is some prime bathos ).

Anyway, here’s the far better “boring” scene from Ulysses:

What in water did Bloom, waterlover, drawer of water, watercarrier, returning to the range, admire?

Its universality: its democratic equality and constancy to its nature in seeking its own level: its vastness in the ocean of Mercator’s projection: its unplumbed profundity in the Sundam trench of the Pacific exceeding 8000 fathoms: the restlessness of its waves and surface particles visiting in turn all points of its seaboard: the independence of its units: the variability of states of sea: its hydrostatic quiescence in calm: its hydrokinetic turgidity in neap and spring tides: its subsidence after devastation: its sterility in the circumpolar icecaps, arctic and antarctic: its climatic and commercial significance: its preponderance of 3 to 1 over the dry land of the globe: its indisputable hegemony extending in square leagues over all the region below the subequatorial tropic of Capricorn: the multisecular stability of its primeval basin: its luteofulvous bed: its capacity to dissolve and hold in solution all soluble substances including millions of tons of the most precious metals: its slow erosions of peninsulas and islands, its persistent formation of homothetic islands, peninsulas and downwardtending promontories: its alluvial deposits: its weight and volume and density: its imperturbability in lagoons and highland tarns: its gradation of colours in the torrid and temperate and frigid zones: its vehicular ramifications in continental lakecontained streams and confluent oceanflowing rivers with their tributaries and transoceanic currents, gulfstream, north and south equatorial courses: its violence in seaquakes, waterspouts, Artesian wells, eruptions, torrents, eddies, freshets, spates, groundswells, watersheds, waterpartings, geysers, cataracts, whirlpools, maelstroms, inundations, deluges, cloudbursts: its vast circumterrestrial ahorizontal curve: its secrecy in springs and latent humidity, revealed by rhabdomantic or hygrometric instruments and exemplified by the well by the hole in the wall at Ashtown gate, saturation of air, distillation of dew: the simplicity of its composition, two constituent parts of hydrogen with one constituent part of oxygen: its healing virtues: its buoyancy in the waters of the Dead Sea: its persevering penetrativeness in runnels, gullies, inadequate dams, leaks on shipboard: its properties for cleansing, quenching thirst and fire, nourishing vegetation: its infallibility as paradigm and paragon: its metamorphoses as vapour, mist, cloud, rain, sleet, snow, hail: its strength in rigid hydrants: its variety of forms in loughs and bays and gulfs and bights and guts and lagoons and atolls and archipelagos and sounds and fjords and minches and tidal estuaries and arms of sea: its solidity in glaciers, icebergs, icefloes: its docility in working hydraulic millwheels, turbines, dynamos, electric power stations, bleachworks, tanneries, scutchmills: its utility in canals, rivers, if navigable, floating and graving docks: its potentiality derivable from harnessed tides or watercourses falling from level to level: its submarine fauna and flora (anacoustic, photophobe), numerically, if not literally, the inhabitants of the globe: its ubiquity as constituting 90 % of the human body: the noxiousness of its effluvia in lacustrine marshes, pestilential fens, faded flowerwater, stagnant pools in the waning moon.

( This is also bathos, but intentional, & much mo’ interesting & obviously took much mo’ work to conjure up than the filler dialogue before ).

OK… but all these problems would be… acceptable, I guess, for the best book e’er if the plot & characters were jaw-droppingly well-written. Well, they’re not. The story is average @ best, but the characters are straight-up terribly written. This book stars not 1, but 2 Mary Sues: the aforementioned noble white middle-class lawyer, who has no flaws, & his spoiled brat o’ a narrator who’s not like all the other girls & spends most o’ the book praising her flawless father. I should add that this book is heavily based on Harper Lee’s own upbringing, so it’s a shock that the characters who represent the author & her beloved father are depicted as perfect. This legit reads like a bad fan fiction or webcomic.

There are 3 types o’ characters in this book: the perfect anti-racist white heroes, the vile racist poor white villains ( so vile that the main villain has to stoop to attacking the Finch children, e’en tho racist people rarely go round killing the white children o’ e’en antiracist white people, ’cause apparently killing black people isn’t evil ’nough ), & the black people, who are all peaceful, servile Uncle Tom 2ndary props to warm all the white liberal hearts. 1 sickeningly sappy scene depicts a large community o’ blacks giving food to their white Jesus, Atticus. The 1 time a black person does anything resembling active resistance is when Tom Robinson tries to flee from jail & is shot to death, which is considered foolish by our noble whites & worth mo’ noble pitying. In this book black people are worthy o’ nothing beyond pity. That’s why they’re symbolized by the titular mockingbird that’s killed: they’re cute li’l pets to make rich white liberals feel good ’bout themselves ( to be fair, the other “mockingbird” is a shy abused child, who is also a pet for well-off people, & his abuse is ’nother example o’ the evil o’ poor people ). Heaven forbid this book depict actual struggle — ¡perhaps e’en with violence! — as that would make this book’s white audience squeamish & they would probably turn round & root for their white supremacist society. This book’s outdated relic o’ racial ( & specially economic ) politics is perfect for an outdated relic that is The New York Times, whose own politics are consistently early-20th-century.

Special note should be given to their critic note for this book. In addition to acknowledging their idiocy in missing a basic fact stated plainly ( since subtlety was beyond Harper Lee’s literary skills ) in this book when they 1st read it, they @ 1 point brag ’bout how New York is so much better than the savage rural lands ’cause they know how to leave people ’lone ( said the airbag who probably supported “Stop & Frisk” for “improving law & order” ), leaving e’en an urbanite elitist like me wishing to Allah that Al-Qaeda would bomb these fuckers ’gain.

Posted in Literature Commentary, No News Is Good News, Politics, Reviewing Reviews, Yuppy Tripe

On Super Mario 3D All-Stars ( & Why Gamers Are an Embarrassment to the Human Race )

Since I wrote 2 extensive posts analyzing the level design o’ Super Mario 64 & Super Mario Sunshine ( not planning on doing the Galaxy games, tho — & I wouldn’t be wasting money on this remake if I were, anyway, since I still have my Wii copies ), it makes sense that I would write ’bout this topic.

I have mixed feelings ’bout this remake remaster port cheap emulator & roms worse than what pirates offer. I remember I had 2nd thoughts while working on my analyses o’ Super Mario 64 & Super Mario Sunshine, since I had read the leaked rumors ’bout 3D Mario “remasters” earlier this year & wondered if I perhaps should’ve waited to play these remasters; howe’er, I was skeptical o’ these rumors @ the time & decided that it’d still be better to play thru the originals in their entirety & maybe after the “remasters” come out unwisely waste e’en more o’ my short time going o’er those & comparing & contrasting. Interestingly, I remember my skepticism was ’cause I doubted Nintendo could put out good remasters in such short time & thought that, @ best, the rumors would be that Nintendo would just release Virtual-Console-style ports — ’cept I expected them to be much cheaper. Since it turned out that I was right, it turned out my fears were unfounded & I, thankfully, ne’er have to play Super Mario Sunshine ’gain & deal with its dumb ass “challenges” o’ waiting on boats & ramming watermelons into walls for several minutes. On the other hand, it would’ve been nice to see Super Mario 64 fixed up, as it definitely needs it, & to see if Nintendo could make Super Mario Sunshine not a buggy, sloppy mess anymo’.

I’m probably the only person as mixed ’bout this release, as everyone else is either mindlessly excited or deeply troubled by the caveats that Nintendo pointlessly added to this release, like their scummy use o’ limited release to create “fear o’ missing out” & pressure gamers, who are notorious for their lack o’ self-control & wise financial practices ( but are oft well-paid, despite this incompetence ). I think the reason is that, as I’ve hinted or said outright in some o’ my analyses, I don’t think the 3D Mario games were all that great the begin with. Super Mario 64 was revolutionary for its time, but has aged poorly; Super Mario Sunshine is just flat-out badly designed & is such a mix o’ low ambition & sloppy, amateur mistakes in terms o’ bugs that it should make such a AAA company like Nintendo blush; & Super Mario Galaxy was essentially the McDonald’s o’ video games — good for a quick, mindless play, but derivative & quite sloppily-designed, as well. There are plenty o’ 3D platformers that are better than the latter 2, including Banjo-Kazooie, the original Spyro trilogy, &, hell, e’en Donkey Kong 64, which was a’least ambitious while being sloppy & incompetent, as opposed to Sunshine & Galaxy which were sloppy & incompetent while just copying Super Mario 64 & failing to understand what made that game work in the 1st place. Hell, e’en Super Mario 3D Land & Super Mario 3D World are better, since they a’least understood how to handle straightforward platforming correctly, while Super Mario Sunshine kind o’ butchered explorative platforming & Super Mario Galaxy couldn’t figure out whether it wanted to be an explorative or straightforward platformer & opted to half-heartedly do both @ the same time.1

The comparison to the Spyro trilogy is fitting, as those games received full remasters a year or so ago, all for $40, with some o’ the most gorgeous graphics there are so far. Now, granted, in my recent playthrus o’ the games I’ve found that these games haven’t aged super well, either, — I would probably rank them all lower than, say, Super Mario 64 or Banjo-Kazooie — & I felt bad ’bout buying this remake, as I feel I was just feeding this remake/rehashing obsession that is starving the artistic world o’ new ideas2. So you can imagine how Super Mario 3D All-Stars has crossed the line into definite no-buy. Still, it’s hard not to be embarrassed to see Nintendo, who were once the greatest game publisher in the world, get their asses kicked by some nobodies called “Games for Bob” & fucking Activision.

Some people may brag that this is a great business decision on Nintendo’s part, & they’re right; but Nintendo fans should realize that this great business decision, like many great business decisions, came @ the loss o’ Nintendo’s dignity & reputation. Perhaps Nintendo has no reason to care ’bout this, but people who invest so much o’ their life dedicated to this corporate god o’ theirs should, as the only thing mo’ pathetic than worshipping a faceless corporation is worshipping a faceless corporation that makes crap now. Granted, Nintendo’s been making crap for the past few decades, as one can see from modern Mario & Zelda games & pretty much every home console since the Super Nintendo, including the Switch, which is so bad, Nintendo was sued o’er its crappiness.

I should point out that, from what I’ve seen, the ports look worse to me than probably to others. While people try to give Nintendo the most pathetic o’ “you tried” trophies for their higher-resolution UI elements in Super Mario 64, while not improving any o’ the other textures, I think having a mix o’ high-resolution & low-resolution textures looks mo’ jarring & cheaper than just sticking to consistently low-resolution textures. I’m also very doubtful that Super Mario 64 will play well on the Switch. The Switch has o’er-sensitive control sticks that make slight nudges negligibly different from full yanks, making everything in every Switch game feel slippery. I don’t know why they would make them that way, as it renders useless the whole point o’ having control sticks with different levels o’ force you can apply, but the N64 & GameCube didn’t have this problem. The Wii-U control sticks were the same, & I played the Super Mario 64 Virtual Console port, which feels way too slippery ’cause o’ that, so I have li’l reason to expect different from the Switch’s version. Not to be that guy, but you truly have to play Super Mario 64 with the original N64 controller to make it not feel like ass. I still think buying a used N64 & Super Mario 64 would be a better deal than this remake, e’en if it comes close in price, since the other games aren’t worth much, anyway.

What makes this remake’s timing e’en worse is that it came out so soon after the unauthorized release o’ the disassembly o’ Super Mario 64 into C code ( made easier thanks to Nintendo’s incompetent failure to apply optimizations on their C compiler, which caused slowdown in areas, such as “Dire, Dire Docks”, where there wouldn’t be with the optimizations ) & the proliferation o’ ports ( including a PC port, which I regret not using when I made my analysis o’ Super Mario 64’s level design, as I could’ve had widescreen screenshots ) for just ’bout every system & mods — including the switch already. Nintendo fans had beaten Nintendo’s own port months ago. These ports have many extra mods, including texture upgrades, that you could only dream o’ getting in the “official” release.

This leads us to a particular anomaly: here we see superior versions o’ works made for free that are forced into the underground — effectively censored — ’cause they were not “officially” sanctioned by the “owner”, while only the mo’ imperfect product is legally allowed to be bought & used. ¿Does this not go gainst both our artistic & economic goals to encourage efficiency, to encourage the production o’ the best products? & yet here the law is outright preventing the best work o’ art from succeeding — trying to prevent it from existing. But someone well-versed in economics could easily find the answer: the cause is a monopoly — to be specific, a government-sanctioned monopoly known as “copyright”. ’Cause Nintendo owns the game, they don’t have to compete in making the best version; they only need to legally outlaw any competitors.

Thus, rather than creating an environment where works are refined to their best, most consumer-pleasing version, consumers are left with nothing but imperfect versions competing with each other, as the only way to compete with an imperfect work o’ art is not to refine it, as would be the rational way to make it better, but to make a completely different work that trades imperfections for other imperfections. This is also inefficient in that it forces people to “reinvent the wheel” & recreate art slightly different to avoid being struck down by the government rather than work on the parts that need to be improved. Hence why we have such absurd bootlegs like Yooka-Layley, rather than a new Banjo-Kazooie game. ’Course, programmers who are familiar with how open-source software would recognize this all too well: it’s the same reason why proprietary Windows & OSX users have to tolerate the quirks in those OSes while copyright-free Linux users can change anything they don’t like ’bout their OS or download from the variety o’ competing options.

’Course, pointing out the simple fact that, yes, copyright has elements that are simply bad for the world o’ art & the economy, would enrage ( which is odd, since it’s not as if we’re @ risk o’ the law changing, so they should be feeling very safe ) worshippers o’ their favorite corporate gods, who have produced much propaganda in defense o’ copyright, much o’ which is inaccurate3, but which has nontheless latched into people’s minds. This is probably ’cause the extreme version o’ copyright that currently exists in the US doesn’t have much to stand on, logically: e’en economists, who tend to be pro-ownership, can’t keep themselves from cynically calling it the “Mickey Mouse law”. After all, while one could maybe argue that if Nintendo didn’t hold a monopoly on a new game they make, they wouldn’t be able to make money & continue funding development o’ new games ( tho this makes one wonder how so much great open-source software was funded ), ¿will Nintendo fans be so delusional to argue that Nintendo could not produce games if they couldn’t keep gouging people for games they had already spent their money making decades ago? ¿Were artists not perfectly able to make a living creating art with only 14 years to profit off a work o’ art centuries ago? ¿Why do owners suddenly need mo’ than 90 years now?

Still, I’m less angry than some people, not only ’cause these games aren’t that good to begin with, but also ’cause Nintendo’s attempt to sell this game in a corrupt way is so self-defeating, I can only laugh, & that ungenerous part o’ me kind o’ thinks that the people who fall for it are so dumb, perhaps the world is better with them having less money. For instance, I might be mo’ horrified by Nintendo trying to exploit “fear o’ missing out” if we weren’t talking ’bout decades-ol’ games that people have already missed out on. & while Super Mario 64 was revolutionary for its time, Super Mario Sunshine & Galaxy’s impact on the industry is minimal. The only game I can think o’ that Sunshine influenced was some indie game called A Hat in Time, & the only game I can think o’ that Galaxy influenced were bootlegs, like the illustrious DuLuDuBi Star. The truth is, when these games came out the rest o’ the industry had far mo’ interesting games to pay attention to, like Grand Theft Auto, Halo, & Resident Evil in 2002 or… Actually, looking it up, it seems 2007 was a very dry year, as well as 2006. In hindsight, I’m no longer so sorry that my poverty made me miss out on the newest games in the late 2000s — it seems they were mostly crap, anyway. Anyway, I can bet almost anyone who hasn’t played these 2 games hasn’t played other games that are far mo’ significant & better.

In fact, I would go far ’nough to say that while Nintendo is gouging players for these half-assed ports o’ rather half-assed games, they slipped thru much better games for close-to-free ( well, so long as you’re already paying for Nintendo Online ): the original Super Mario All-Stars. My recent playthru o’ the 3D Mario games ( I played Super Mario Galaxy 1 & 2 round the end o’ 2017, so it wasn’t that long ago ), I’ve come to the conclusion that they’re not nearly as good as the classic 2D Mario games. While 64 hasn’t aged well & Sunshine & Galaxy weren’t that great when they 1st came out, the original Super Mario Bros. & Super Mario Bros. 3 are still excellent & make me remember after decades o’ mediocre Mario games how Mario came to fame in the 1st place.

Also, it’s not as if Nintendo’s the only company in the world to o’erprice outdated work simply ’cause it has a well-known brand’s face on it: Apple’s been gouging people on computers with outdated specs fore’er. I could e’en see someone who is rich ’nough that they can’t be bothered to care that they’re o’erpaying paying $60 to try these games. Hell, I wasted $50 on that new Zelda game wherein you just wander thru empty forests, fight the same generic fantasy monsters with sticks, & wait every few minutes for Link to catch his fucking breath ( I guess that’s where it got its name ); compared to that ol’ games that are a’least actual games & not inferior simulations o’ wandering thru the local forest looks pretty good.

What makes me truly feel bummed out ’bout this release is how excited everyone is ’bout it & how much it reveals how li’l standards & self-respect video game fans have — admittedly not a new epiphany, since “gamers” have been flaunting their cultural & general intellectual paucity ( as well as corporate servility ) for decades; I mean, we’re talking ’bout a demographic with such fragile egos that they feel the need to give themselves the label “gamers”, as opposed to fans o’ any other art medium, who don’t embarrass themselves so. Immediately after I had read ’bout the Nintendo Direct ( the only time I have e’er given a shit ’bout these corporate advertisements, since, as mentioned earlier, I had an actual interest in these remakes beforehand ), my YouTube recommendations — as recommended by the robotic equivalent o’ that friend 1000 IQ points lower than you who thinks quoting ol’ video games is funny & whom you wonder why you e’er associate with them in the 1st place — was inundated with the most embarrassing selection o’ videos o’ corporate fellatio ( if you want proof that capitalism has usurped Christianity as the dominant religion in the west for the moronic masses, just gaze ’pon the zeal o’ worship so many people cast ’pon their divine made-up legal entities — while these same hypocrites who demand that video games be respected as art have so li’l respect for the actual flesh-&-blood artists who did the actual work that they could probably ne’er name a single programmer if their lives depended on it ), accompanied by thumbnails with bearded young white male #13892 mugging the camera with some wacky expression.

’Cause I’m drunk & surly, I’m going to spend the rest o’ this article breaching online etiquette & make fun o’ these goons:

For instance, the 1st video I found was titled “Nintendo Just Won 2020 With their Mario 35th Anniversary Direct”, whate’er that’s s’posed to mean — I guess that Nintendo’s better than rival game development companies. Keep in mind that this is the same year Sony & Microsoft are releasing new consoles. I haven’t played a Sony console in decades & probably haven’t played a Microsoft console e’er4; but e’en I have to admit that if you think new consoles by Sony & Microsoft are less impressive than half-assed ports o’ ol’ games, you must have drunk the Nintendo Kool-Aid & have given up all independent, critical thought. Imagine how sad it would be that you think regurgitating out shit Nintendo made decades ago is the best thing o’ 2020. If I thought this rehash was 1 o’ the best things video games had to offer, I would just dislike video games, period.

& I don’t know why YouTube keeps recommending me videos o’ Grover from Sesame Street talking ’bout Mario games, but he’s apparently obsessed with Paper Mario. Well, now he’s talking ’bout Super Mario 3D All-Stars with a video titled “The Mariosplosion Was REAL”. The only explosion I saw was Nintendo shitting themselves in the pants, & then offering their fans to buy it for $60, which they gladly did — proof that Austrian-schoolers’ “mud pie” argument gainst the labor theory o’ value is backward, as only in a capitalist society could you succeed by selling people mud pies.

Amusingly, IGN, 1 o’ those sites who throws 10s like candy5, is being surprisingly nitpicky, with its title, “Super Mario 3D All-Stars: Mario 64 Speedruns Won’t Be Nearly As Fast”. O’ all the problems a remake could have, “speedrunners can’t exploit a glitch anymo’” is far down the list o’ relevance. Usually people praise companies for fixing bugs, not criticize them for failing to leave them in.

Perhaps the silliest video is the video by Nintendo’s own channel called “We Played Super Mario 3D All-Stars!”. No shit you played it, dipshits — you made it.

Our next video features a gamer dude so generic he’s wearing a Star Wars baseball cap. This as well as his very creating channel name, “Geeks + Gamers”, let’s you, fellow gamers &/or geeks know that he is, also, what you humans call “gamers” & “geeks”. He doesn’t show his face, howe’er, as he’s facepalming next to the title, “People Are Still Complaining About Nintendo Despite Super Mario 3D All Stars Announcement”. ¿Can you believe that the peasants have the audacity to criticize our great Lord & Savior Nintendo, e’en tho they gifted us with 3 games they already made decades ago ( 2 o’ which were ne’er that great, e’en for their time ), when they should be bowing down & giving themselves up to the sheer sacrifice Nintendo’s stockholders have done to sell fanboys 3 half-assed ports @ an inflated price that are worse than what fan hackers have made for free?

Gainst all good reasoning, I took the time to watch the video & had to laugh near the beginning when I heard him say that, “[T]ime has been very good to Super Mario Sunshine”. Yes, time has been good to that game where I just randomly clip thru floors, blue coins clip thru walls, Mario randomly spazzes out while on ledges, minigames handle failure in inconsistent ways, cutscenes have Mario in 2 places @ once & 1 cutscene has Peach with her own eyeballs as earrings, — & those are just the unquestionable bugs, much less the mo’ subjective sloppy level design — says man who has clearly only read other fawning praise o’ the game & has ne’er played it himself.

Pictured: game that time has been good to.

His whines are nothing mo’ than that Nintendo has made limited releases before, so that means it’s OK now. Give this man an A+ in philosophy. Personally, I couldn’t care ’less that this is limited release, since it’s not worth the price it costs @ any time. I would love to hear someone give a reason why it’s a good idea. Granted, as someone who has actually studied economics watched that Jim Sterling video where he complains ’bout this game’s limited release & knows such concepts as “false scarcity” & “FOMO”, I know all too well why it’s a good reason for Nintendo’s wallet & a bad reason for consumers — which is why smart consumers will avoid buying this garbage, thereby pressuring corrupt businesses like Nintendo to either stop being corrupt or go out o’ business. ’Course, pro-market economists are wrong that consumers in market economies are smart, so I expect to see plenty o’ idiots gladly throw their money ’way to corrupt corporations, thereby causing scam artists to flourish — ¡just like how these scummy YouTube channels thrive on their cheap clickbait titles! It’s like that joke from The Simpsons wherein Lisa does that experiment on a hamster & on Bart, but with Bart replaced with gamers: while the mouse learns to stop trying to eat the electrified cheese, gamers while go after that electrified muffin time & time ’gain.

& then we have a billion videos by GameXplain & Nintendo Prime. Nintendo Prime I am almost certain are paid shills, with their switch giveaways & pathetic jabs gainst Sony as if Nintendo Life are elementary schoolers still babbling that “Nintendo Does What Genesisn’t”.

Like “Gamers + Geeks” ( who, now that I think ’bout it, is probably also a shill, since certainly no genuine fan would be so generic ), or whate’er that clown called himself, the 1st video I found from them was 1 wherein they whine ’bout the existence o’ people who s’posedly don’t like this remake. Hilariously, the pinned comment o’ the video is Nintendo Prime admitting that they utterly fucked up understanding what the original Super Mario All-Stars was: they claim in the video that ’twas just ports o’ the original NES games, rather than remakes with totally new graphics &, in the case o’ Super Mario Bros., completely reprogrammed from the ground up ( not for artistic reasons, but ’cause Nintendo lost the original source code6 ).

But my favorite argument by Nintendo Life is in a comment farther below, wherein they demonstrate that they completely fail to understand what reviewing is:

However, that doesn’t change what this is, factually. It’s a collection pack, and it should be judged for what it actually is, rather than what you would rather wish it was. That’s where I have an impasse with some reviewers, they are knocking it for not being something else entirely rather than just judging it purely based on it being a collection pack.

Critiquing a work is nothing mo’ than comparing a work to what is expected o’ it & evaluating whether or not it has met or exceeded those expectations. If we take this argument to its logical conclusion, reviewers should just rank any work o’ art with the binary “good” for being what it is, while with this philosophy it’d be impossible to rank a work as “bad”, as “bad” would be defined as a work not being what it is, which is a paradox. “Yes, Bubsy 3D is ugly, sounds like the computer is constantly burping, & has cumbersome controls; but people need to respect Bubsy 3D as a game that is ugly, sounds like the computer is constantly burping, & has cumbersome controls, rather than judge is based on what it is not, a game that looks good, has music a sane human would find pleasing, & actually responds to your button presses in a way any reasonable person would expect”.

& most people I’ve seen do judge this game as a collection pack: they judge it as a bad example o’ 1 that’s beyond the normal market price o’ collections. They also judge it’s price as the outcome not o’ a fair market, but o’ false scarcity & monopolistic behavior.

’Course, we couldn’t have clickbait without a li’l bait-&-switch title that hints @ an audacious claim that is obviously wrong, & Nintendo Life dutifully delivers that with their “Super Mario Galaxy 2 Teased By Nintendo for 3D All-Stars”. In the top pinned comment, ’course, they admit that they think the chance o’ Galaxy 2 being released as DLC is “20%”. What formula they used to calculate that seemingly arbitrary chance is a mystery.

But the most horrifying video Nintendo Life unleashed on us is this 1 titled “That Mario Nintendo Direct Was Superb (If Predictable) – Super Mario 3D All Stars” showing bearded man with creepy jack-off face while the somewhat less horrifying Super Mario 64 Mario face with its crusty polygonal eyelids gazes @ the viewer like a banshee. All this surrounded by the big, bold text, “A SUPER MARIO DIRECT ACTUALLY HAPPENED”. ¡Holy shit! ¡A glorified advertisement… for a Mario game? ¡Such an event happens only in a blue moon!

GameXplain is a bit less clickbaitty ( just a li’l, tho ) & a li’l mo’ obsessive, offering dozens o’ videos obsessing o’er the different title screens & menus & the version differences for the opening cutscene in Super Mario Sunshine, which GameXplain themselves admit is pointless, since the Switch version is using a crappy, compressed video from Twitter that looks worse than the GameCube version ( also, spoilers: in the Switch version Mario is still in the clip o’ Bianco Hills they watch in the airplane, before they 1st take foot on Bianco Hills, just like those Superfriends episodes wherein Aquaman joins the others in going out to rescue Aquaman ).

They don’t offer any analysis, which would require some intelligence on their part, but just show every clip they can find. It’s 1 thing when fans obsess o’er footage from an upcoming game in development; but this is shit we’ve had for decades. & it doesn’t look any better. It’s the same shit. ¿What kind o’ neurotic fucking idiots get obsessed o’er ol’ shit being released with a few textures looking slightly less blurry?

That’s not to say that GameXplain doesn’t have clickbait, such as the blatantly false “Super Mario 3D All-Stars Go Beyond “Simple” Ports – Here’s the Evidence!”. People have already looked into the game & found that Super Mario 64 & Super Mario Sunshine are emulated ( Galaxy’s main code is recompiled to native Switch, but GPU & audio are emulated, for some reason ). This reminds me o’ when Polygon so slovenly asserted that the models in those new Pokémon games were totally not rips from the 3DS games ’cause the developers said so as if they were the New York Times parroting the US military, only for many hackers to actually compare the models & prove that the models are so similar that if they weren’t ripped, the developers wasted their time plagiarizing their own work. But one should ne’er let reality get in the way o’ one’s mindless worship o’ their favorite corporations.

As expected, this video has a huge pinned comment by GameXplain wherein they try to move the goal posts by redefining “emulated” as “not done by Nintendo”, making this an ad hoc argument, since the whole argument is whether Nintendo’s doing better than unofficial sources ( which GameXplain for some reason calls “public domain”, which is inaccurate, since they involve copyrighted material ). GameXplain actually shows mo’ ignorance regarding the “public domain” work than 3D All-Stars ( which is no surprise, since there’s no money in it for GameXplain to shill for nobody hackers ). For instance, they claim that Galaxy’s recompiled source code is something “you wouldn’t see in the public domain”, e’en tho recently hackers were able to disassemble Super Mario 64 into C code, allowing it to be recompiled into many different ports without any form o’ emulation — a case wherein, bizarrely, the hackers have mo’ resources than Nintendo themselves, since Nintendo did have to emulate it. GameXplain also claims that Nintendo was able to update textures from sources that only they had, which has 2 problems: looking @ the video, only a tiny minority o’ the textures are improved ( which, as I said, looks worse than if none o’ the textures were changed ), so they clearly didn’t keep most o’ them ( which is no surprise: the fact that Nintendo had to emulate Super Mario 64 implies that they lost its source code ). But this is also untrue as many o’ the textures were stock, which hackers have been able to find, such as the backdrop to “Wet-Dry World”, not to mention how fans have been able to make all-new custom high-definition textures for the whole game ( which, granted, are mixed in quality to the point o’ uncanny valley — that Peach, uh… needs a bit mo’ work ).

But these videos can’t compete with Metacritic in terms o’ gallons o’ jism being flung on you like Nickelodeon slime by so many “critics” stroking Nintendo’s long, hairy dick. Granted, now’s an unfair time to do this: the only reviews out are by critics given advance copies by Nintendo in return for giving Nintendo easy high scores — which is to say that none o’ these “critics” have any credibility, anyway. Luckily, Metacritic has no standards for whom they count as a “critic”, so we don’t have to miss out on the sugary cum.

For instance, Cubed3, a website I’ve ne’er heard o’ with such bad web design that I think it’s being run by a Russian who has ne’er played a video game before, starts by praising Nintendo for doing “the utterly expected”, as opposed to doing what was just expected. ¡This was utterly done! Unfortunately, if I complained ’bout every way this writer twisted the English language into the equivalent experience o’ eating scorpion tails, we would end up with a section longer than the review itself. Let me just point out that this wordsmith called the game the switch’s “rectangle of delight”. This is why critics should stick to just mentioning important elements in the game & analyzing how they effect the experience o’ the game — you know, what readers came for — rather than subject them to their shitty attempts @ poetry.

I must admit I almost missed how idiotic the opening line is: “Why are you looking at this? Go and play Super Mario 3D All-Stars now!”. This review came out before the game was released — your readers can’t play it yet. I don’t think you could find any better proof that this reviewer didn’t put an ounce o’ thought into what they were writing.

I’m most amazed that this review is only a few paragraphs, but still wastes its time saying the same things, such as asserting in as many ways you can that you should buy this game, while barely analyzing the game itself. This reviewer, who has apparently ne’er played any other game in the universe, is astounded that Nintendo put so much sweat & blood into making an opening FMV. No other video game has e’er accomplished such a feat. Clearly Super Mario 3D All-Stars is the real Schindler’s List o’ video games.

Also, this:

Menus are bright and filled with titbits [ sic ] that any information-hungry fan is going to lap up and appreciate every time they start up one of the three titles included. [ Emphasis mine ]

@ 1st I was going to make fun o’ how this reviewer apparently has ne’er heard o’ Mario Wiki or thinks their audience is too dumb to have heard o’ it ( considering what that audience is willing to read, that’s a fair assumption ); but then I noticed that typo & realized why Mario fans are so excited now. As they say, “sex sells”.

A lovely addition that nobody would hold against Nintendo leaving out of the package is the addition of each soundtrack.

Nobody would hold it gainst them ’cause you can find this music on YouTube & this is the stupidest way to deliver music to people. Nobody’s going to be lugging their fucking Switch round like a boom box just to hear Mario music. If Nintendo wanted to actually be useful, they would’ve just given buyers FLACs they could put on their phones or music players ( or hell, put it on Spotify — ¿why don’t game companies try to make a deal with streaming services so they can make extra money off their soundtracks rather than do nothing & watch as game fans just upload their music to YouTube for free? ) — you know, how real human beings listen to music.

After admitting that they got lost choosing ’mong the jungle o’ 3 whole games, — ¡that’s 1 mo’ than this reviewer has learned to count up to yet! — the reviewer offers a whole 2 paragraphs spewing cliches ’bout these games without a breath o’ real analysis. E’en then, this reviewer finds a way to waste words on irrelevant shit, like the SNES Super Mario All-Stars, ’cause this reviewer is truly hopeless @ formatting their thoughts & has ne’er graduated high school.

What’s funniest is that this reviewer goes so far in praising this remake that they outright contradict themselves in praising it, claiming that Super Mario 64 is “all represented here pixel perfectly”, when obviously it isn’t — ¡Nintendo improved some o’ the textures! Apparently this remake is so great that it has broken the laws o’ logic & is both improved & exactly the same.

’Course it wouldn’t be a bad review without getting basic facts wrong, — proof that this reviewer didn’t really play these games that are apparently God’s own golden vagina juice — claiming that in Super Mario 64 Mario “still relies on the standard hop, skip, and wahoo to get the job done”, when Mario can do many mo’ things, like punch, kick, dive, carry things, swim, grab chains & climb round them, fly… Also, Mario doesn’t skip in this game — tho if Nintendo did change it so that he did, I would bump my view o’ this remake a point or so higher.

Master these here and it becomes a lot simpler to grasp the level design and approaches for the rest of the journey through the Mario vault.

No it doesn’t, ’cause as anyone who has actually played these games knows, Super Mario 64’s level design is radically different from Sunshine’s & Galaxy’s — that’s why there are such strong arguments o’ Super Mario 64 vs. Galaxy, etc.

With its excellent level design, infinite replayability, and perfect soundtrack, it’s easy to get lost in Mario 64 for months and never want to leave.

“Infinite replayability” — that’s not ridiculous hyperbole by a reviewer with Nintendo’s cock so high up their throat it’s reaching their kidneys. This reviewer might as well claim that playing this game will cure blindness while they’re @ it. ¿& “perfect soundtrack”? Don’t get me wrong, the Bowser theme is 1 o’ the best Bowser themes e’er, & “Bob-Omb Battlefield” was such a good song that it’s e’en the best song in Galaxy 2; but we’re talking ’bout the same game with that obnoxious “Slider” song — ’cause I love my clock & rainbow castle levels sounding like a fucking hoedown.

& don’t bother going into any detail regarding said level design, since it’s not as if different people have different opinions regarding what makes certain level design bad or good — which is important to note, as despite what this reviewer thinks, Super Mario 64’s level design is actually controversial. No, I’ll just take your word for it, reviewers so unprofessional you didn’t e’en bother to get a security certificate for your website that is probably bloated with ad JavaShit.

Spoiler alert: it is.

Leave you must, however, in order to jump into one of the most unique7 platformers Mario has ever headlined…

This reviewer is talking ’bout Super Mario Sunshine, which those who have actually played it know is just Super Mario 64 but with a water pack. I can think o’ plenty o’ games with Mario in it mo’ exotic ( & just generally better ), such as Yoshi’s Island, Super Mario Bros. 2, Mario vs. Donkey Kong, Mario Pinball Land, Mario Party Advance. This is why I hate Sunshine fans: they’re like rock fans who think they’re super avant-garde ’cause they listen to Pink Floyd.

Nintendo, in its infinite wisdom, was always going to mix things up and this left many players a bit wary.

If you think Super Mario Sunshine “mixed things up”, you have clearly ne’er played a game other than Super Mario 64 & Super Mario Sunshine.

Yes, Nintendo ( a company, who are not real organisms, & thus cannot have thoughts @ all ) has “infinite wisdom” & has ne’er made a mistake — that’s why they got their asses kicked hard during the GameCube era, ’cause the people playing PlayStation 2 & Xbox were all thinking, “¡Whoa! ¡Mario with a water pack! ¡That’s too radical for me! ¡I’m going to stick with my dumb 1st-person shooter that radically redefined how 1st-person shooters play or that dumb car-theft game that redefined the open-world genre Super Mario 64 created & with which Super Mario Sunshine did nothing new”.

Having never taken the plunge first time round, owning a GameCube but getting a dungaree fix from Mario Kart: Double Dash instead, it is interesting to come at Sunshine with fresh eyes.

OK, ignoring the hilarious dangling participle implying that the abstract concept o’ “coming @” ( a very accurate malaprop — this reviewer is, indeed, cumming @ Sunshine ) Sunshine with fresh eyes played Mario Kart; ¡this person talks ’bout the history o’ Sunshine as if they’re an authority, & then admits that they didn’t e’en play it when it came out, e’en tho they had the perfect opportunity! ¿Why? Probably ’cause they didn’t want to waste their money, ’cause they knew back then deep down how crappy it was. But now that it’s hip to love the game, now they have to go out & pretend they love it like all the other drones.

Also, I tried looking up “dungaree fix” & Google just stared @ me in confusion & Duck Duck Go told me to Go Fuck Fuck myself. All I know is that dungarees are a type o’ pants.

Much like the popper trousers of the time, it now ranks as one of the biggest regrets missing out initially.

¿Why is the reviewer so obsessed with pants & can they keep their creepy fetish ’way from our discussion o’ Mario games?

It should never have been in doubt, going by the triple A standard of Nintendo, but Super Mario Sunshine is superb.

“Nintendo is defined as making good games, therefore this game that they made must be good. I have very independent thought”.

Tasked with cleaning the island of Delfino, using Mario’s new sprinkler-cum-best-friend, F.L.U.D.D., exploration is a delight.

I’m in awe @ what a mangled mess this attempt @ English was. I think my favorite part is that they call it “the island of Delfino”, rather than its actual official name.

F.L.U.D.D. brings with him a whole new traversal scheme and allows for what would easily have been the most innovative level design that had ever been seen at the time (more on how it was topped later).

Nintendo’s most innovative level design was when they put that blue coin in that random place in the water or when they put 4 blue coins on 4 underwater pillars that all look the same.

Also, your attempt @ a cliffhanger would work better if there wasn’t just 1 game left to talk ’bout. “Duh, clearly ’twas Mario Tennis for the GBC that tops it”.

After mo’ faux-poetic superlatives that do not offer concrete details & could easily be written ’bout any game, it’s so generic, which includes such amazing accomplishments as “platforming over multiple levels”, which no platformer has e’er had the technology & brilliance to achieve before this Citizen Kane o’ video gaming, the reviewer — hold on…

It all proves to be never frustrating

Not e’en Sunshine fans would say something so blatantly untrue.

and is frequently overshadowed by other outings for the digitally rendered Bob Hoskins

¿What the fuck is this s’posed to mean? ¿Does this reviewer think every other Mario game is just an adaptation to that crappy Super Mario Bros. movie? No wonder they have such a lofty view o’ Sunshine.

Interestingly, in the reviewer’s single-minded obsession to give nothing but praise for this remake, the reviewer starts bashing Galaxy 2:

The decision to leave out Super Mario Galaxy 2 was always going to raise a few eyebrows but, as mentioned, it’s arguably not as good – don’t worry, just move on.

( Note: this wasn’t mentioned before in this review ).

It’s “arguably” not as good, but we don’t need to actually bother arguing. Just move on, guys, & just accept what I say without question.

Nintendo has also taken the time to simplify the Wii controls and allow for easier planet-hopping by mapping the often-frustrating star spin to the Y button. The Joy-Con set is the control scheme of choice, however by utilising the gyroscope in the Pro Controller, Star Bit collecting mid-galaxy hop is just as comfortable with all control schemes.

So, using motion controls is frustrating, but the best way to control this game is… motion controls… but it’s just as comfortable using any control scheme.

Galaxy also has the esteemed honour of introducing easily the best female character to ever grace a Mario game, in the form of Rosalina.

Rosalina is a hurt-fic character who does jack shit ’cept warp me ’way from the level I want to go back into to collect mo’ stars so they can tell me some stupid bullshit I don’t care ’bout despite s’posedly being a god that would get you laughed out o’ any creative writing class. That’s much better than characters like Goombella or Bow, who have actual personalities & volition. Truly Nintendo’s bootleg Disney princess who does nothing is the apex o’ feminism.

By the way, I just noticed this reviewer is italicizing video game titles, something that most people don’t bother doing, tho it technically makes sense to, since that’s the recommended way to style book, movie, & TV show titles in pretty much every style guide I’ve e’er read & is what is usually taught in school. That this typo-ridden article that barely managed to accomplish coherent English sentences manages to get this pretentious detail right only confuses me mo’.

Nintendo is never going to be accused of not taking innovation to another level […]

Yes, they are: I do it all the time.

[…] but it’s here that sends the company into the outer atmosphere (excuse the pun… no, don’t actually – it was great!)

Go fuck yourself.

Every galaxy explored offers a unique challenge […]

Yes, that Bowser lava level is totally different from that other lava level.

with even groan-worthy additions like the Bee Mario Suit being used to good effect…

Wait, ¿why is the Bee Mario Suit o’ all things groan-worthy? ¿’Cause it’s annoying to use? ¿Then how is it used to good effect? By definition, if it’s groan-worthy, it has a bad effect, ’less you think groaning is — you know what, let’s just hurry up with this shit.

I am baffled that this 1 detail that I could not e’en bother to qualify as good or bad I was so apathetic to it is the 1 flaw in what is s’posedly an otherwise flawless gem. Not pachinko or those dumbass boat rides with Yoshi in Sunshine; not e’en the Spring Mario power-up, which e’en people who love Galaxy regard as uncontrollable.

After saying nothing o’ substance ’bout these 3 games they s’posedly love so much, the reviewer mentioned the “giant Goomba in the room” regarding the limited release:

In truth, if this was any other company then there is no way this would be accepted […]

That’s ’cause they people who like those companies actually have standards, unlike Nintendo fanboys, who would buy a jar o’ toenail clippings if Nintendo plastered Mario’s face on it.

[…] yet when you objectively look […]

You haven’t looked @ anything objectively, you twat.

[…] as well as really thinking about whether or not consumers are going to pick this up […]

“If it sells well, it’s good”. Most reviews are written with the goal o’ encouraging or discouraging sales, so this is some circular logic here.

It shouldn’t have happened […]

It shouldn’t have happened, but e’en people with “infinite wisdom” sometimes make mistakes.

[…] but anyone who has an interest in this collection is likely to pick it up as soon as it’s released

Imagine how stupid this argument is: anyone who is interested in games that were released decades ago will only be interested in buying them immediately after they’re re-released. I mean, sure, people have been interested in playing Super Mario 64 for 24 years; but after March 2021, nobody will e’er have any reason to want to play this game.

Just be sure to not get taken in by scammers looking to charge over-the-odds when expecting a shortage. There won’t be one.

& this has been proven to be false.

Sorry for how long that went on, but that was the worst review I have e’er read in my life — perhaps e’en worse than that review o’ a video game book wherein the reviewer just complained that the writer was fat & was sad that his grandparents died. It still astounds me that there exists… some creature as stupid as this writer. You may bring up some alt-righter who pretends the world is flat or something, but they have a cynical motive for that shit, & they actually oft do the best they can with what terrible material they decide to work with. ¿How can you do such a shitty job selling 3D Mario games? ¿Did Nintendo pay this guy? ¿Why? ¿Who would look @ this review & think it’s worth money? ¿Did this guy do this by his own volition? Then that means he was trying to be completely genuine, which means they are genuinely this stupid. ¿Was this a 12-year-ol’? ¿Why would a review by a 12-year-ol’ be on Metacritic? ¿& how would they have the sophistication to set up so many Google Ads? I genuinely have trouble believing a human like this exists & that this isn’t some social experiment I don’t comprehend.

It’s hard to top that review, but I must carry on. Our next target is a li’l mo’ professional: a newspaper called The Sydney Morning Herald.

Mario defined the rules for the era of 3D movement in games, just as he defined the rules for the previous era of 2D sidescrollers […]

Well, this is partly true: Super Mario 64 defined 3D platformers, but Sunshine & Galaxy didn’t define shit. By that point nobody gave a shit ’bout 3D platformers, & if they did, they probably took mo’ influence from Banjo-Kazooie & Rare’s games. & Grand Theft Auto III had taken leadership for open-world games a year before Sunshine came out & underwhelmed anyone who might expect a Mario game on the same level o’ quality.

[Y]ou might find them eccentric by today’s standards, but the charm, craft and imagination on display is timeless and undeniable.

If their timelessness is undeniable, then why do they look eccentric by today’s standard. This is basically a tone-deaf way o’ saying, “If you think these games haven’t aged well, fuck you, they have. So there”.

For the uninitiated, 1996’s Super Mario 64, 2002’s Super Mario Sunshine and 2007’s Super Mario Galaxy are the red-capped everyman’s first 3D adventures.

No they’re not. Technically, Super Mario 64 isn’t e’en, since Super Mario RPG was arguably 3D. Mario had many 3D “adventures” thruout the N64 era, before Sunshine came out.

In the next sentence, this professional newspaper makes a typo & spells “depsite” “despite”. Remember this next time newspapers try to brag ’bout how they’re so much better than blogs & deserve their bloated subscription fees.

Compared to the previous trainwreck, this review looks downright decent in comparison. It a’least gets the facts right, & e’en acknowledges the wonkiness in Sunshine & its rushed development & mentions the inclusion o’ elements from the obscure “Shindou” release in the Super Mario 64 port. ’Course, they could have just researched that; but it would’ve been a miracle if the previous reviewer had bothered to do any semblance o’ research. Granted, I’m confused how they could claim that Galaxy, which is probably the most repetitive o’ the trilogy, has much slower movement than Super Mario 64, & is bloated by e’en mo’ pointless, unskippable cutscenes than the others, “makes the previous games look slow and repetitive by comparison”. This game you have to 100% twice, but as a green character the 2nd time, just to complete & which expects players to do many missions a 2nd time, but with only 1 hit point the 2nd time, sure isn’t repetitive @ all.

But I think my favorite part o’ this review is the way they had to qualify their main thesis ( buried in the middle, for some reason ):

but as it stands these are the best officially available versions of three incredible games [ emphasis mine ].

E’en they can’t lie & pretend this remake hasn’t gotten its ass kicked by what fans have done. demonstrated Newgrounds-level scoring dissonance, providing plenty o’ examples o’ how flawed this remake is while ranking it 10/10. 10/10 is “as important a cultural achievement as Citizen Kane or Ulysses”. I don’t like to insult people for liking things, but the socially-responsible part o’ me has to say that if you think Mario jumping round galaxies & collecting stars is as culturally important as Citizen Kane… well, you’re the reason nobody takes video games seriously as an art form. Their logic is that Super Mario Galaxy is so great that it by itself merits this collection a 10. Spoiler: they don’t go into any detail ’bout why this is the case, save that “the movement and controls are so crisp you can almost taste the salt and vinegar”, which doesn’t make any sense. What they don’t mention is that e’en speedrunners who constantly play Galaxy games admit that Galaxy’s controls are finicky & that the physics sometimes just outright bug out, like sometimes making you go down when you hold up.

This is in contrast to their claim that “every jump in Mario Sunshine feels like a leap of faith”, which e’en I think is hyperbole. I mean, you have a jetpack for most o’ the game: e’en if you miss a jump by an inch, just hover the rest o’ the way. O’ all the complains I had ’bout Sunshine, not being able to land on platforms was not 1 o’ them. Well, ’cept for rope on poles; but that’s just ’cause if you try to hover after you grab it, Mario does some dumbass spin-flip that serves no purpose. But that’s rare & is offset by the fact that these ropes have hit boxes so buggily generous that they just warp you on top if you get close to them.

’Course it wouldn’t be a wank-fest for Galaxy without mentioning “the patented Nintendo magic”, which is the elusive way to say, “I have irrational nostalgia for this game & have no critical reason to like it”. That’s cute if you’re just a normal person, but makes you unfit as a critic for a video game, where having critical thought & being able to actually analyze the game with concrete points is a necessity.

The closest they come to concrete examples is when they bring up rolling on a ball or a level assembling itself as you move round ( which isn’t a real gameplay gimmick, just a visual effect that’s distracting & detrimental to gameplay ), which they claim “other developers would make the basis of an entire game”. ’Cept, no, they wouldn’t, ’cause these gimmicks are lame. If they’re impressed by these, I can only imagine they would explode if they saw a game with actual creative gimmicks, like, say, Donkey Kong Country 2.

Also, this review gets some facts wrong. For instance, they claim that “That wasn’t organised in a couple of months from someone’s bedroom”, when, in fact, it has been proven that this game took only 6 months to develop.

I do have to give them credit for having spine ’nough to admit Sunshine was a shitty game.

in Mario Sunshine we rarely felt anything other than mild irritation and frustration.

In the game’s defense, I would personally add “amusement @ such bad design & programming”, but I think I just have that taste for crap that other people can’t tolerate ( as these reviews o’ bad reviews demonstrate ).

1 thing all these reviews have in common is that none o’ them actually try to prove their point with examples & are so scant with details that anyone who has ne’er played or seen these games would have no idea what kind o’ games these are. This is typical for game reviews. I remember when I considered trying out Witcher III, ’cause I heard ’twas s’posedly great, but could not find any information on what kind o’ game it is — including what its genre was ( my best guess is that it’s an RPG, which means it’s probably as fun as spending a whole day sitting by an ant hill & smashing my thumb down on each o’ the million ants that come out ). The only hint I received was that it seems to have some cliché fantasy schlock writing that would get you laughed out o’ a speculative fiction writing guild — which is to say, typical video game writing. All I’ve e’er been able to learn ’bout The Last of Us games is that its story involves people zombified by mushrooms ( basically, an idea ripped off from EarthBound, ’cept its writer was smart ’nough to realize that this is a silly idea unworthy o’ drama ). This plot you’d find in a cheap airport novel in literature is considered 1 o’ the best video games e’er written, as said by a gamer community whose idea o’ “literature” is Star Wars Expanded Universe novels. No one e’er says what the actual gameplay is. ¿I guess you shoot people? That’s ne’er been done in video games before. It’s amazing to think that video games have such huge artistic opportunities, & yet all anyone wants to do is make shooter & platformer games ’bout genre-fiction schlock or make VR shit so people can stare up anime girls’ skirts. ( Incidentally, Anime Girl VR is the next Casablanca o’ video games ).

I want to just point out that in my asides ’bout these games I have delivered mo’ concrete information ’bout these games than these reviews do. If I only knew Galaxy by what these reviewers say, I’d only know that it had “big bosses” & a woman character that some random person thinks is the best woman character written, but apparently doesn’t care ’nough ’bout them to give any details, including their fucking backstory & that this game looks beautiful in the opinion o’ the reviewers. Considering the # o’ game fans who think barren wastelands that look like everything got peed on are gorgeous next-level visuals, I wouldn’t e’en take this assertion for half a grain o’ salt.

Super Mario 3D All-Stars has already outsold all other games on Amazon, which is to say that despite gamers’ complaining, they still couldn’t keep themselves from buying it, e’en tho there’s millions o’ better games out there for cheaper, ’cause they’re just that stupid. Look forward to the 40th Mario anniversary when Nintendo sells a limited-edition disk o’ Donkey Kong that has stains on it ’cause the intern used it as a coaster for his drinks during the months before release. I can’t wait for the GameXplain videos detailing how these pixels are extra pixellated & are 2.8% mo’ saturated.

But ’cause you’ve suffered ’nough thru this longwinded article full o’ cyberbullying & soapboxing irrelevant political opinions ( ’less I cut those parts out — if so, pretend I ne’er brought it up ), I offer you some actually great YouTube videos I found on the subject:


Here we have the best summary o’ Super Mario 3D All-Stars. Just look @ what amazing comedic timing there is, with the long drawn-out pause, just the right length, & then the switch movement @ the end. That’s slapstick worthy o’ classic Tom & Jerry.

Posted in Reviewing Reviews, Video Games, Yuppy Tripe

An Ocarina of Time Review in which I Fully Agree with What Is Said

¡& it’s by Link himself!

I’d make a joke ’bout the CD-i games being better than Ocarina of Time, but that’s just lying. I would say that the cutscenes, being so good they’re bad, are a thousand times mo’ entertaining than anything in Ocarina of Time; but anyone who has actually played those games would know how horrendously shitty their controls & physics & everything are. Playing Ocarina of Time is like watching grass dry; playing The Wand of Gamelon or The Faces of Evil is like watching someone drive a drill into your eyes.

Posted in Reviewing Reviews, Video Games

An Ocarina of Tim the Toolman Taylor Review in which I Agree with the Conclusion & Find the Arguments Delightfully Hilarious

Obviously this review is facetious: but I give this review credit for a’least being funny.

The highlights:

You can’t jump in Ocarina of Timeless Piece of Crap. It ruins the game. Why can’t you jump? Is there something wrong with your legs? In UnderTale, not only can you jump and even double jump, you can even triple murder jump. I know Zelda is white, but if you really think white men can’t jump, then you’re racist. Anyway, even if it was true, he’s only a man for half the game. The rest of the time, he’s a kid and I can tell you my two boys can jump, so why not in this game? Plus, he wears a skirt, so you can’t use the excuse that his jeans are too tight and he doesn’t want to tear them.


I tried to show Cockarina of Time to my five year old, but as soon as he saw the title screen, he flicked his lit cigarette at me, told me to “Eat it, you old fuck,” and screeched away on his motorcycle. I haven’t seen him since. This game destroys families.

I wouldn’t bother reading any o’ the later 1s. I read the Super Mario Bros. 3 1 & it’s clear this person used all their jokes on this review.

Posted in Reviewing Reviews, Video Games, What the Fuck Is this Shit?

An Ocarina of Time Review in which I Agree with the Conclusion but the Writer Disagrees with the Conclusion

Sometimes the internet is full o’ these delightful absurdities, & I consider it my life duty to register them.

A blog named “The Nocturnal Rambler” wrote an article that lists numerous flaws with Ocarina of Time, including 1s I’ve mentioned, such as how terrible Ganondorf’s characterization is, how terrible the overworld map is, how characters ne’er shut up, how this game’s full o’ padding, & how all o’ its good stuff was already done by A Link to the Past. He also adds points I didn’t think ’bout, such as how square the dungeons are… though, to be fair, that applies to all the earlier Zelda games, too.

O, & this article was posted on April 1. & ’cause that wasn’t ’nough ( which, to be fair, since internet is an international thing & April Fools… I don’t e’en know how far that reaches. ¿Do UK people celebrate it? I’m guessing most o’ the world doesn’t ), the author specifies that it’s a joke & that he considers Ocarina of Time “perfect for its time”, while acknowledging that his criticisms were “at least halfway valid”.

I loved the response to that, too: “Next time don’t tell the truth when trolling. Every complaint you had was valid”.

Posted in Reviewing Reviews, Video Games

An Ocarina of Time Review in which I Agree with the Conclusion but Disagree with the Reasons

In ’nother entry in my long list o’ counterarguments to the idea that right conclusions equals right arguments, we have a critical review o’ Ocarina of Time which is stupid. Actually, to be fair to Ocarina of Time fans, most critiques o’ Ocarina of Time are as dumb as the praise it gets. I don’t know if I live in some alternate reality where what’s fun & good is different from everyone else, but it seems like no one can say anything sensible ’bout Ocarina of Time.

Anyway, this review starts by wasting paragraphs hyping / apologizing for how controversial his opinion’s going to seem. I was a’least courteous ’nough to wait till the end when everyone already left in seethes, & my hyping was mo’ creative ( read: insane ).

In the 3rd paragraph he finally gets to the main reason:

Well, I suppose the biggest reason is the most obvious: It’d outdated.

Fuck me… God damn it, Ocarina of Time fans: ¿are you so obsessed that you’ll create astroturf blogs full o’ strawmen? ’Cause I’m quite certain, “Duhr, it’s ol’, so it sucks” is exactly what Ocarina of Time fans make fun o’ critics as saying.

And I know what you’re gonna say, and I’m going to stop you. Yes, it’s a seventeen year old game. Yes, it was influential in the time it was made. Yes, a lot of modern gaming has been shaped by what this game did and, during the time it was made, it had no equals.

& I’m going to stop you & say, no, none o’ that is correct, & only the 1st was right @ some point.

I particularly love the “during the time it was made, it had no equals”. “¡This game that sucks had no equals @ the time!” Seems that your “Ocarina of Time is a Terrible, Terrible Game” was a “terrible, terrible” attempt @ a bit o’ false clickba — ¡God damn it, it’s ’nother fucking website I’ve read whose title is nonindicative o’ its actual content! ¡Stop wasting me time with this shit!

Anyway, we’re already “in too deep” into the anus, so let’s keep digging. ( ¿What the fuck does that mean? )

That is all very much true… if I was playing the N64 version. Which I’m not. I’m playing the 3DS version that, as far as I’ve been able to tell, changes nothing but the aesthetics and graphics of the game. Everything else stays the same… Which is in the game’s detriment, not its favour. Because while it set forth a lot of good things, it really doesn’t hold up well today.

So… ¿the 3DS game is worse than the N64 version ’cause… it only improves its graphics & keeps everything else the same? ¿Improvement & equality = worse? Usually people criticize reviews ’cause they have some subjective opinion on what is “fun” that they disagree with; my favorite are the reviews that are wrong due to basic fundamental logical flaws.

I think this reviewer’s mainly trying to say that both versions are bad today, but that the N64 version was good back in 1998… which contradicts “That is all very much true… if I was playing the N64 version”, which says that, if he were playing the N64 version now, it’d still be good. If that sentence were excised, he’d a’least have an internally-consistent argument. I’d still argue that that’s bunk: there are plenty o’ ol’ games that are still great today, e’en better than newer games. For example, every attempt to modernize Yoshi’s Island has always been vastly inferior — e’en in graphics & music — to the 1995 Yoshi’s Island. That game hasn’t aged an ounce.

Mo’ importantly, ’course, I disagree with his claim that Ocarina of Time “had no equals” back in 1998 & wish this were a praiseworthy review so he could perhaps elaborate — O, wait, they wouldn’t elaborate on that either. “Ocarina of Time was unmatched” is an argument you take on faith, nothing else.

Let’s ignore his rambling paragraph trying to defend gainst strawmen idiots who try to argue that anyone who complains ’bout Ocarina of Time must suck @ it. A simple, “Anyone who makes such an asinine argument is too dumb to argue with” would’ve sufficed. That said, I don’t think I’ve read that 1 yet, — mostly just wishing for people’s deaths & calling them “trolls” — & am bewildered by it, since Ocarina of Time isn’t exactly Battletoads. I think the problem would be less, “it’s too hard for me” & mo’ “it’s too hard for me to not fall asleep”.

Well, lets start with the story, or the lack thereof.

Let’s start with the lack thereof o’ sense in this review.

¿Lack o’ story in Ocarina of Time? O, mercy, modern gamers, ¿how art thou so? & you’re my age or older, too. ¿You think Ocarina of Time didn’t have ’nough story? “¿What the hell? I only had to mash the A button for, like, 5 minutes straight. Final Fantasy XIV would’ve been a’least 2 hours”.

Take Link, the player character that we get to name ourselves.

“¡I hate being allowed to have some semblance o’ creativity & being able to control aspects o’ my character! It’s almost as if I’m s’posed to be controlling this game or something”.

He has no personality… at all. He is a complete blank slate. Now on the one hand, this is suppose to be the point. We’re suppose to impose our own character onto him… but this always struck me as somewhat lazy story-telling.

Well, then it’s a good thing this is a game & not a novel, or that might be problematic. “It always struck me as somewhat lazy that movies used pictures to get round having to think o’ ways to represent their story in textual form”.

Rather than create a protagonist, they just pretend that we’re the protagonist and leave it at that.

That’s ’cause we are the protagonist. That’s why we push those buttons on the controller. This is a game. God, no wonder he sucked so much @ this game: he didn’t know he was s’posed to actually be doing the stuff himself. He just stared @ the TV with bewilderment. “¿So this whole thing is just the 1 text box, & nothing from the protagonist himself? Hardly Shakespeare”.

Now, true, Pokemon does much the same. Pokemon has a blank slate protagonist, leaving the player to implant their own personality. But, in that game, it works because the player character isn’t what we’re playing as. The player character is the one who gets us from A to B, yes, but the actual ‘playing’ part of the game comes from the Pokemon themselves. The Pokemon take centre stage, not the player character.

No, I think in “that game” ( or, rather, many, many games ) it works ’cause those games have actually interesting gameplay that is, unfortunately, interrupted by inane text, whereas Ocarina of Time doesn’t have any actual interesting gameplay. Surely this reviewer isn’t going to try telling me that he liked the Pokémon games ’cause he found Pikachu’s personality so compelling. “It truly tugged my heartstrings when he said, ‘Pika Pika chu’ — truly the greatest quote in all English”. Pokémon are interesting ’cause o’ what they do, the different strengths & weaknesses & strategies one can develop with them, which should contrast with most modern RPGs, which just give you pre-made characters with li’l customization, wherein most battles are just mashing A till you win, with a few healing spells when some #s get too low.

The fairy in Ocarina of Time sure has a personality. Same with the owl. Plenty o’ the characters in Ocarina of Time have personality — they’re just all annoying. The fact that Link shuts his trap is a blessing. Though I’ve heard plenty say, “I wish that damn fairy would shut up”, I’ve ne’er heard anyone say, “Gee, I truly wish I knew what Link was thinking now”. Probably ’cause we’ve learned from material like the CDi games or the cartoon that it’s usually something stupid. Think o’ how much mo’ entranced in Ocarina of Time I’d be if every so oft Link interrupted the great music with, “Well, ‘scuuuuuse me, princess” ( though now I wish someone would make a rom hack with voice clips from the cartoon & the CD-i games, ’cause that sounds hilarious ).

If anything, I’d say the fact that Link was silent made for mo’ interesting interactions & mo’ nuance — something that is viciously lacking in modern games. Link’s reaction to Ruto’s come-ons being just a horrified expression is much funnier than if he spouted out, “O, gawd. ¡What a bummer!” like god damn Bubsy the Bub.

But even if we ignore that, and look at the character themselves, the Pokemon protagonist is still more interesting than Link because the Pokemon protagonist has less personality. Which sounds conflicting, but let me explain.

I’m just sitting back in my bed with my arms folded with an expression o’ deep anticipation.

Actually, to be fair, he does offer some great criticism o’ Ocarina of Time’s story:

But even if we ignore that, Link has no motivation for his actions. He shows no interest in the story at large. He is given no reason to save Zelda and the kingdom. He is given no reason to care about what is going on. Without the lead character getting interested in the drama, how am I suppose to care?

I was going to make fun o’ his comparison ’tween Link & the main character from Pokémon games; but, yeah, the main characters in Pokémon do have mo’ believable motivation. E’en the villains have better motivation. Team Rocket may be shamelessly evil, but they’re just a average cynical, corrupt gang. ¿But how do I take seriously the idea that if Ganondorf takes control o’ the mystical McGuffin known as the Triforce that the world becomes infected with magical evil juice, ’cause “evil”. That’s the most inane fantasy tripe that only children write anymo’. Anyone who has e’er read any notable fantasy literature & actually likes that genre would be appalled @ the kind o’ mindless, outdated tripe — outdated as in “things literature stopped doing since the 50s” — video games are still spewing.

O, & hey, he has mo’ actually right criticism:

This is probably the game’s biggest flaw in the story-telling. It prefers to tell the audience everything that they need to know, rather than show them.

Mountains of text sprouting exposition in order to build up a story, rather than letting the story unfold in a more visually interesting way.

The entire plot revolves around the player collecting McGuffins in order to advance the story, but with little reason to care about what is happening.

My only question is, ¿how was this good in 1998? I ’specially find this funny considering his comparison to Pokémon ’cause the 1st Pokémon game came out before Ocarina of Time. Ocarina of Time apparently had no equals, but it clearly had superiors. The fact that any Pokémon game e’er beat Ocarina of Time in storytelling is the most damning critique you could give a game wherein storytelling is its primary “strength”.

But, phhh, ¿who cares ’bout “motivation” or the inanity o’ “magic causes it”? Ocarina of Time is “epic”, man, & that’s all that matters in my superserious storytelling.

But then we’re back to nonsense:

[I]t was revolutionary for when it was made. Which, once again, is true…

I ask ’gain: ¿how is Ocarina of Time revolutionary in terms o’ gameplay? That stupid fucking Z-targeting? Nobody fucking cares ’bout that. I don’t think video gaming would’ve gone the way o’ pogs if glorious Zelda hadn’t been there to gift us with the genius invention o’ not having to bother with aiming by holding a button down.

Take the ‘auto-lock’ camera function. From what I can tell, this was the first game to really do it.

What you can tell is wrong. ¿Have none o’ you idiots played Super Mario 64? ¿Is this some obscure gem that only few have played? It had auto-lock. Indeed, it had a better camera ’cause it gave you much mo’ control o’er it, like letting you shift it left & right. Super Mario 64’s camera has everything Ocarina of Time has & mo’, & it came out 2 years earlier.

I’m not going to judge his complaint that Ocarina of Time’s autolock is useless, ’cause he doesn’t elaborate. He just says it sucks & that he ignores it.

I’m mo’ interested in this critique:

It ends up being a very dull button-mash that ends with wild flaying since it’s hard to target anything.

¿Ocarina of Time makes it too hard to hit things? It has auto-targetting: the game babifies things for you. I’m the kind o’ person who thinks that NES games or shitty modern games that try to emulate shitty NES games are too hard, but e’en I think having the game aim for me is babifying. The only exception I can think o’ is when the camera is too fucking close to see anything round you, like with the Keese; but the only reason the Keese are a problem is ’cause they’re too far out o’ range for the Z-targeting to work & so far ‘bove you that you can’t see them, so they can just swoop down & smack you without you e’en getting a hint. But that’s a problem with the camera, not the Z-targeting. If anything, Z-targeting feels like a crutch for a bad camera.

Well, the biggest and most pressing problem is that the game never bothers to teach the player anything of any use.

God damn it, ¿why are you doing this to me?

The game ne’er shuts up. It constantly tells you how to do everything, no matter how obvious. I’m surprised the game doesn’t outright start with a text box that says, “To close these text boxes, press A”.

Now I know the modern complaint when it comes to modern gaming is that there’s too much ‘hand-holding’. The game makes everything incredibly easy so that even the worst player knows what they need to do.

Wait, ¿what? You just said that the game makes it too hard to figure anything out.

Now on the one hand, this is a valid complaint.

¡It’s your own complaint! ¡You can’t judge your own judgments!

Games are designed to provide some challenge, so taking away that challenge is a major drawback.

¿Says who? ¿Insecure people who need to be showed they can do something that a lot o’ other people can’t do, regardless o’ how li’l benefit it gives to anyone else? Mario Paint wasn’t challenging, but it certainly wasn’t garbage.

Halfway through this paragraph, I’ve realized that that sentence way back when he said “the game” he wasn’t referring to Ocarina of Time, but some newfangled game, & he was trying to contrast Ocarina of Time to those games & trying to defend modern games & their incessant tutorials.

Now, as the webseries Extra Credits pointed out, Portal is almost 90% tutorial. They teach the player something, make sure the player knows it, and makes it so that the player can’t move forward until they’ve mastered it. Most games do this, to some extent. They teach the player something and make sure they know to do something before moving on.

The difference is that good games don’t have tutorials but intuitive design. Though I would agree that not punishing the player too much for the crime o’ making mistakes would certainly mitigate the feeling that one needs tutorials. This is the kind o’ strength a game like Mario Paint has: it doesn’t need a tutorial, ’cause it doesn’t need to worry ’bout whether you know how to play it the “right” way ’cause it doesn’t punish you for anything: it just gives you its tools & says, “Go crazy”. It’d be nice if mo’ games were like this.

Now isn’t this true of Ocarina of Time?

All right, now I’m confused ’gain: ¿weren’t you arguing that Ocarina of Time doesn’t teach ’nough?

They teach you how to use your sword, throw a bomb, etc.

’Cept you just said @ the beginning o’ this long paragraph, “the biggest and most pressing problem is that the game never bothers to teach the player anything of any use”. Apparently slashing your sword & throwing bombs has no use in this game where you slash your sword gainst the vast majority o’ enemies & use bombs to solve most puzzles.

And on that level, that’s true. They teach you how to do that much. But then they leave a lot up to unintuitive and counter-productive thinking.

Then the true flaw isn’t “doesn’t teach ’nough” but bad level design.

[A] good example can be found in the Shadow Temple. In order to proceed, you need to use an arrow to shoot a bunch of bomb plants, causing a structure to fall. […] Only problem is, the game has at not point explained that this is possible.

Here I’d have to defend Ocarina of Time: basic logic tells you that if you shoot bombs, they blow up. If anything, the game would be worse if the arrows just went through them like ghosts. Compared to the kind o’ tripe adventure games o’ its era had, Ocarina of Time was quite generous. I mean, I praised the original Zelda as better than Ocarina of Time, but expecting you to shoot an arrow @ bombs knowing that they’ll blow up is better than guessing that “disliking smoke” means it’ll die if you put bombs in front o’ its face or that “grumble grumble” means, “¿Could you please give me some meat? I’m terrible famished”. Hell, that game has maps that outright lie to you & pretend that certain rooms don’t exist.

Well there is one last flaw that sticks out like a sore thumb […]

I thought everyone found “sticks out like a sore thumb” laughable e’er since the Irate Gamer mumbled it in a review.

Sorry: proceed.

[…] and drags the entire game down beyond being saved: Every time you die you get sent back to the start of the dungeon with only three hearts.

I wish I could make fun o’ this or defend him or say something interesting, but… eh… Yeah, it’s annoying — but hardly makes a game “terrible, terrible”. He should be glad the game didn’t force him to replay dungeons ’cause he lost too many lives.

Restarting the player with only three hearts defeats any need to hunt out more hearts, since they’re always going to end up being depleted anyway.

“It’s not like I can get mo’ hearts by breaking all those pots everywhere or cutting all that grass that mysteriously grows in dungeons”.

So the option is either to press on and hoping to find more hearts, or using a potion (though, given how far away the nearest store is to the dungeon entrance, it’s just as much hassle to go back and refill the potions as it is to just press forward and try not to die).

“¿Why can’t Link just call Amazon & have them deliver potions to him right in the dungeon? ¿How backward are these Hyrulians?”

Neither are very good options, since they force the player to waste time doing busywork before they get back to the part they were at.

“The part they were at” being “wasting time doing busywork”, since that’s the bulk o’ Ocarina of Time’s gameplay.

But this mechanic, the sending the player back to the start with only three hearts, is by far the worst part of any game I’ve ever played.

¿What? ¿“[A]ny game I’ve ever played”? I can’t e’en think o’ what game to tell you to play to change your mind, since there’s too many.

It kills the pacing stone dead, leaving me wondering whether I can be arsed slogging through the same tedious garbage in order to get back to where I was.

“This tedious garbage was perfectly fine when I only had to do it once”.

If you hadn’t had ’nough o’ this reviewer filling paragraphs with, “Bring on the hate”, or whatever, well… I am.

It’s annoying, ’cause it seems clear this guy just got frustrated @ this game & vented his anger, rather than providing the kind o’, ahem, mo’ cool-headed, high-level critique that I did.

All I have left to say is, if these were his problems & what he thought were strengths o’ Ocarina of Time, I’d be curious to see his opinion o’ Super Mario 64 or any NES or SNES games. Presumably he hasn’t played many o’ those games, ’cause if he did he’d see that Ocarina of Time wasn’t nearly as “revolutionary” as he thought & its frustrating points weren’t special for it, either.

Posted in Reviewing Reviews, Video Games

The World’s Worst Review in which I Disagree with Its Conclusion ( How Not to Write a Review: Lessons from Gather Your Party )

Actually, sadly, this negative review o’ Wario Land 3 isn’t as bad as the positive one I made fun o’, since this writer actually managed to consistently follow his thesis.

Still, his arguments are shallow, so let’s take the effort to defend this 10+-year-ol’ game.

This reviewer argues that Wario Land 3 is not only bad, but apparently the prime example o’ a bad sequel. Wario Land 3 must have some fundamental flaws to warrant that particularly shameful spotlight.

1 ) Don’t repackage old mechanics as new

It doesn’t.

He complains that Wario Land 3 is a “step down” from Wario Land 2 simply ’cause it makes you learn your abilities by collecting treasures, rather than starting out with them. Nowhere does he actually state how this affects how fun the game is; he just seems to imply that mo’ is always better. In particular, he compares Wario Land 3 negatively to Banjo-Tooie, which started Banjo & Kazooie with their abilities from Banjo-Kazooie & gave them new abilities in addition to these. What this reviewer doesn’t mention is how many people panned Tooie for being o’er-complicated & giving Banjo & Kazooie a lot o’ abilities that were rarely used & rarely interesting — such as picking stuff up with a backpack & sleeping in it to gain health.

While he compares Wario Land III to Zelda games, he forgets to also mention Metroid & Castlevania games, as well as many RPGs. ( ¿Thousand Year Door makes you recollect badges you got in the 1st Paper Mario? It’s obviously inferior to Paper Mario. ) This is a common gameplay mechanic in video games. It’s true that it doesn’t make sense from a story point o’ view; — so much that it’s a common trope: “Bag of Spilling” — but when you get to the point o’ criticizing a Wario game for not being logical, you’ve become the illogical one.

Moreo’er, he ignores the fact that the game does do new things with Wario’s powerups. Wario not only unlocks the ability to swim, but also the ability to swim past currents, which Wario ne’er learns in II & which dynamically changes how players interact with level design. This is a vital aspect o’ Wario Land III vs. Wario Land II: the way Wario’s interaction with levels changes as the game goes on. In Wario Land II, once you’ve gotten the 1 or 2 exits in a level & found the bonus thrown in, you’re done — nothing new to get from that level.

But, all right, this is just 1 point. I’m sure he has many other good reasons.

2 ) Expand on old mechanics to improve them, and/or create new ones

The example I just gave before is ne’er addressed. Nor does he mention the key-&-chest system, — you know, the main mechanic o’ the game — the day-&-night system, the way levels change as you venture through the game… It almost makes me wonder if this person e’en played this game.

OK, now, ¿what does he talk ’bout?

Wario Land 3 not only goes backwards in terms of Wario’s moveset but ruins one of its strongest, most most defining features, the No Death system.

That’s interesting, since Wario Land 3 clearly still has this system, as well as status effects. Don’t tell me he’s actually going to complain ’bout the “Game Over” on the final boss, as if that matters…

In Wario Land 2, Wario loses coins instead of health when attacked, in addition to being knocked back. These coins are used to pay for minigames which reward the player with treasure when won.

( Smacks forehead. ) ¿’Cause Wario doesn’t lose coins, the “No Death system” is ruined? ¿Is this guy high?

Ironically, it just so happened that I was thinking ’bout the changes ’tween Wario Land games & thought to myself how Wario Land II didn’t do the “No Death system” as well as Wario Land 3 ’cause it made you lose coins by getting hit, thereby losing the neutral aspect o’ getting hit. What — to me, a’least — made the “No Death system” work so well was that it changed the very meaning o’ getting hit: it wasn’t just something that was “bad” & “to be avoided,” but something that varied by context. It meshed well with status effects — effectively treating getting “hurt” as just ’nother status effect, which could be bad or good ( speedrunners actually intentionally get hurt sometimes ), just like status effects. This is good, ’cause for some, it can be hard to tell the difference ’tween getting “hurt” & being hit with a status effect. I saw 1 person once complain ’bout this uncertainty for Wario Land 4, & I’m sure it’d apply to Wario Land II, just to a much smaller degree, since losing coins isn’t that big a deal in Wario Land II.

Interestingly, there is 1 case where I think Wario Land II was better than Wario Land 3: the fact that coins were mo’ common & had mo’ importance ( though not as much as in the 1st Wario Land ). While I think, in general, Wario Land 3’s level design was much mo’ interesting than Wario Land II’s ( I can barely e’en remember its levels, whereas I can remember so much from 3 ), I do miss the coin caches hidden round its levels.

¿Why do I say this is “interesting”?

Arguably this increases the importance of coin collection, but each try at the minigame costs only 10 coins, and since Wario cannot lose any collected coins, the increased importance of coin collection becomes overshadowed by these other factors, which greatly reduces Wario Land 3’s difficulty in comparison to Wario Land 2.

Anyone who is actually familiar with… any Wario Land game, marvel @ this.

  1. Minigolf games only cost 10 coins @ the start. Later on they cost up to 50.

  2. Minigolf games are a thrown-in mechanic that aren’t important @ all. You could take them out & the game would be just as good — perhaps better, since that game gets tiring after a while. Actually, if he mentioned the minigolf game itself as a downside, I might agree with him, ’cept for the fact that Wario Land II’s bonuses were e’en worse.

  3. He essentially argues that coins are mo’ important in Wario Land 3 ’cause there’s fewer o’ them, & notes that they’re also used less oft. Any rational person would conclude that, in such case, coins are obviously less important.

  4. He’s arguing that the difficulty ’tween Wario Land II & 3 is determined by how many coins one has. Yes, the 1 thing that stops one from beating Wario Land 3 isn’t Wolfenboss or the cloud jumps in “S6 Above the Clouds”; it’s running out o’ coins & not being able to play minigolf, &, bizarrely, not being able to just go round killing enemies & breaking blocks till one has ’nough. That’s not hard: that’s tedium.

The same applies to Wario Land II. Money is ne’er a problem in that game, e’en if you get hit all the time. If you think that’s what makes that game hard, & not the bosses or level design… You must be some idiot savant. ¿Do you get hit by every enemy & not collect any o’ the hundreds o’ coins lying round?

The level of punishment lost by removing the element of Wario losing coins when attacked turns Wario Land 3 into an upsettingly easy game. Wario Land 3 goes backwards instead of bringing new things to the table.

( Laughs. ) Wario Land 3 is “upsettingly” easy ’cause it doesn’t make you grind for coins ’nough. I particularly love how “punishment” is a good thing in a video game.

¿What does any o’ this have to do with “bringing new things to the table”? ¿& should someone who uses a cliche like “bringing new things to the table” be complaining ’bout a lack o’ originality?

3 ) The sequel should stay true to the series, but stand out

This is meaningless & likely self-contradictory. What any individual considers to be “true” to a series varies; & if something stays too “true,” it’s certainly not going to stand out much.

He just shows a bunch o’ videos & claims that Wario Land 3 is just like Wario Land 2, ’cept for the changes he mentioned earlier, which is Wario having to learn his powerups, the minigolf game, & there being fewer coins. No mention is given to key-&-chest mechanic, day-&-night mechanic, or music coins.

I have a feeling this guy’s only experience with these games are these YouTube videos.

He then contrasts Wario Land 3 with the way Zelda does everything different in every new game.

If I want a game with more emphasis on puzzles, I’ll play Oracle of Ages, if I want a game with more emphasis on narrative I’d play Majora’s Mask.

Those are such bad examples to give that I almost think he’s intentionally trying to be stupid as a joke or something. Oracle of Ages is certainly mo’ similar to its twin, Oracle of Seasons, & Majora’s Mask literally reuses assets from Ocarina of Time, which also focuses on story. I’m not saying they’re the same — but they’re certainly closer than Wario Land 3 is to Wario Land II. So this guy hasn’t played any o’ those games, either.

A successful sequel is hard to make, especially when following a very well-received game. Wario Land 3’s mistakes make it the poster child of all the mistakes that can be made in making a sequel. And without a successful sequel, a franchise is doomed to fail.

Too bad Wario Land 3 didn’t just come out last year & the series didn’t continue for a few mo’ games afterward. Wario Land 3’s such an amazing failure, it ruined the franchise while still allowing it to continue being successful for years afterward.

In the comments, after some dumb commenter asked if he should only get Wario Land 3 if he got all 4 o’ them… e’en though you can’t get 4 on the 3DS, ’less he was an Ambassador 5 years ago, which is unlikely… But whatever. He says this:

Playing Wario Land 3 after 2 is like playing Spyro Enter the Dragonfly after playing Year of the Dragon

I remember how Wario Land 3 was full o’ game-breaking bugs that happened all the time & took fore’er to load ’tween levels.

Popping the Party Balloons

While looking round the site, I noticed the dumb tagline, “Honest Game Journalism” — as if I’d expect them to have a tagline that said, “Game Journalism that Lies Straight Into Your Fat Face.” They didn’t succeed @ that goal, considering this review’s inaccuracies in regards to… well, every game mentioned, actually. But, still: if you have to emphasize your “honesty,” no rational person would trust that tagline, anyway.

In April of 2012, Gather Your Party launched as an alternative source of video game related media. Its creation was a direct result of the growing discontent with the behavior of major outlets across the internet.

Sigh. It’s ’nother 1 o’ these groups, sticking it to the evil large corporate video game websites that nobody cares ’bout. ’Cause being told a shitty game isn’t shitty is right up there with The New York Times lying ’bout what “torture” is. Ne’er mind the fact that everyone just gets their opinions o’ video games from full playthroughs by some pastyfaced nobody on YouTube — kind o’ like this reviewer clearly did for Wario Land 3 & II.

Due to our pro-consumer stance and desire to pursue ethical video game journalism, it is our policy to disclose information pertaining to possible conflicts of interest, such as when we receive review copies, or when a member of our staff has personal or professional ties to a developer or publisher.

I love how they promise to mention when they got free gifts, & not promise to, you know, not accept them.

I’m glad they promise to tell me ’bout personal ties to developers. I expect you to tell me all ’bout this reviewer’s steamy sex antics with the whole development team o’ Wario Land II so I can make up some online club & go round acting like a belligerent asshole to strangers ( so, Friday night, basically ) & add the word Gate to my name, ’cause that’s original. We’ll call it WarioLandGate, & it’ll be super important. This is ’bout corruption, after all. Whatever that means in this context.

Embarrassingly ’nough, the latest news story from this impressive game news site was from July 2015. Most o’ the stuff they’re doing now is streaming & podcasts, which have the double benefit o’ being hipper & lazier. & useless when there’s much better stuff round. The editorials they do have are nothing mind-feeding. ¿Did you know that Mighty No. 9 sucks? Well, Gather Your Party told you all in a tone as if this is some revelation. The “humor” is trite pop-culture references, like “which video game celebrity will die,” “waifus,” & spelling “video” “vidya.” The website design is so sickeningly slick that it screams o’ “CONVERTING” templates.

Basically, I can’t help get the feeling that this website was made mo’ to generate cheap hits, rather than to actually provide quality info or entertainment. Shocking then that I found it on Google — they’re usually so good @ ensuring these sites are made for me, not them.

Posted in Reviewing Reviews, Video Games